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UPN's 'The Player' reality dating show to premiere August 3


By Wade Paulsen, 07/31/2004 

Move over, Fox and NBC, because UPN is making a bid to be bigger "player" in the reality television arena with the launching of its first reality dating series -- The Player.

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The Player, described by UPN as "sexy" and "funny," is an eight-week one-hour series set a palatial Miami mansion that follows a group of 13 self-described "players" in their quest to win the heart (or, at least, be the final selection) of a Miami model named Dawn ... assisted by her two girlfriends. The show will premiere Tuesday, August 3, 9-10PM ET/PT.

During each episode, the guys will receive a challenge from an anonymous "Player Operator" (who will be voiced by a mystery guest, in the style of Charlie's Angels) that tests their "player" skills. Their ability to carry out these tasks will determine which ones get to go on glamorous dates with Dawn to the hot spots of South Beach and Miami.

The object of the competition for these self-proclaimed "masters of the opposite sex" is to win over Dawn, with the approval of her girlfriends (in the style of last summer's Cupid series which aired on UPN sister network CBS). However, the guys will be thrown into a variety of situations, with the possibility of sudden death eliminations. Losers will get tossed from the game with the probably-soon-to-be-trademarked cliche, "Don't hate the player, hate the game" (in the style of The Apprentice).

The list of contestants includes:

The "Star"
• Dawn, 24, a model from Miami

Her Girlfriends
• Ananda, 26, an insurance agent from Cooper City, FL
• Jinelle, 25, a model from Miami

The Players
• Acie, 22, a musician from Houston
• Alex, 27, an "entrepreneur" from Houston
• Ben, 23, a personal trainer from Littleton, CO
• Bryan, 24, a club promoter from Miami
• Byron, 24, a market researcher from Atlanta
• Chyno, 23, a singer/songwriter from Brooklyn
• Eian, 25, a "pro slamball player" from Fontana, CA
• Federico, 21, a bartender from Miami Beach
• Jason, 28, a pharmaceutical sales representative from Jericho, NY
• JJ, 24, a student from Scottsdale, AZ
• Kyle, 26, an equities trader from Boston
• Marvin, 27, an attorney from West Hills, CA
• Trever, 27, a carpenter from Carlsbad, CA (and probably a part-time surfer, because otherwise he would be the only person in Carlsbad who didn't surf)

Looks like this show will be educational, too. Who even knew that there was such a sport as professional slamball?

In the premiere, entitled I'm America's Dream Guy," each of the players has 45 seconds to impress Dawn, Ananda and Jinelle -- with five of them to be chosen to spend a night on the town with Dawn in South Beach. Some of their attention-getting stunts include an on-the-spot serenade, a striptease and a backward flip into the pool. At the end, Dawn tosses one (but apparently only one) of the player-wannabes.

The Player is produced by Ureal Productions, Inc. The executive producers are Don Weiner (It's Showtime at the Apollo) and Happy Walters. Teri Kennedy (Survivor) is co-executive producer.

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