TV Land orders new Mike Fleiss 'Cougar' reality dating series
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/02/2008
TV Land has announced it's ordered a new untitled reality dating series from The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss that will follow a group of young men vying for the heart of an older, more mature woman.
The young men cast for Untitled Cougar Project (the show's current working title) will compete for the "cougar" via a series of creative and romantic challenges, with suitors being booted weekly by the show's bachelorette. Cougar is produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television, with Fleiss serving as executive producer. Casting for the series is currently underway and it is slated for an early 2009 debut.
In addition to creating ABC's The Bachelor and The Bachelorette reality dating series, Fleiss also created High School Reunion, which aired three seasons on the now-defunct The WB in 2003 and 2004.
"We are thrilled to unleash this wild project onto TV Land's schedule and join other successful and fun-filled shows like High School Reunion from Mike Fleiss," said TV Land programming executive Keith Cox. "The TV Land audience is looking for entertainment with interesting and compelling storylines --something Fleiss has proven he can deliver to our audience."
While TV Land is hoping Cougar can deliver "interesting and compelling storylines," the show's format isn't exactly original.
In September 2004, Fox ordered Ivana Young Man, a reality dating special that would follow Donald Trump's ex-wife Ivana Trump as she selected eight eligible 20-something bachelors who would then vie for her affection.
However the show never aired on Fox and was instead broadcast on Oxygen in Spring 2005.
Last summer, NBC aired Age of Love, which followed 31-year-old Australian tennis player Mark Philippoussis in his attempts to find love among a group of suitors ranging in age from 21- to 48-years-old -- aka the "kittens" and the "cougars."
Philippoussis chose 25-year-old Amanda Salinas during the show's finale, however the two reportedly stopped dating a few months later.