Report: ABC orders new 'Dating in the Dark' reality dating series
By Christopher Rocchio, 02/02/2009
ABC is apparently sticking to the old adage that looks aren't all that matters when it comes to compatibility.
The network has ordered Dating in the Dark, TV Weekreported Sunday. The new reality dating series will follow single men and women as they go through all the usual motions of dating without ever actually seeing each other.
ABC ordered a pilot for Dating in the Dark last year, according to TV Week, which added the series will be produced by Endemol USA and Talpa Content USA.
Talpa is the production company Big Brother creator Jon de Mol -- the "demol" in Endemol -- founded after he left Endemol (de Mol rejoined Endemol in 2007 when an international consortium he was part of repurchased a 75% stake in the reality powerhouse from Telefonica SA, the Spanish broadcaster that had bought Endemol in 2000).
Unlike ABC's long-running The Bachelor reality dating series, Dating in the Dark will air as self-contained episodes instead of including serialized storylines, TV Week reported.
While ABC and Endemol North America Chairman David Goldberg declined to comment, TV Week reported that Dating in the Dark is based on a Talpa-produced Dutch series called Blind Love -- which puts three single men and three single women who have been scientifically matched for compatibility together in a house.
The six people interact with each other and participate in various dating activities over the course of several days with the caveat that it all happens in complete darkness (viewers still catch almost everything thanks to producers using night-vision technology).
At the conclusion of each Blind Love episode, the participants have an opportunity to see what the other houseguests look like before deciding whether to proceed with the romantic relationship or not.
The network has ordered six episodes of Dating in the Dark, according to TV Week, which added production has already commenced.
Dating in the Dark is also similar to Fox's Spring 2003 reality dating series Mr. Personality, which was hosted by Monica Lewinsky and featured a young female contestant trying to select a suitor from a group of men sight unseen -- judging them only by their personalities.