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Lifetime orders 'The Big Match' reality dating pilot, Cat Deeley to host

By Christopher Rocchio, 02/07/2008 

With 100 potential matches, one lucky lady has to like those odds.

Lifetime has ordered the pilot for The Big Match, a new reality dating show that will follow 100 single men as they compete for a "dream date" with one woman, Daily Variety reported Tuesday.

So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley will helm the new series, Variety reported.

The Big Match is being produced by Granada America and reportedly represents the first "major" project ordered from Paul Buccieri, an ex-Fox programming executive who was appointed president and CEO of the European production company's American arm last month.  In addition, The Big Match marks the first show ordered by Lifetime and produced by Granada America that isn't a miniseries or movie.

"Granada America has a longstanding relationship with Lifetime as a provider of movies for television, and we are delighted to be able to expand our partnership into this new genre," Buccieri told Variety.

Although it hasn't worked with Lifetime before, Granada has plenty of television series experience.  In addition to being one of the U.K.'s largest television production companies, the company has also produced or co-produced many American reality TV shows, including Airline, Celebrity Fit Club, Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, Nanny 911, and Phenomenon.

The Big Match, which is based on a format from executive producers Michael Agbabian and Dwight Smith, is also currently in development in the U.K., Variety reported.

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