The CW developing new 'Farmer Wants a Wife' reality dating series
By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 05/04/2007
The CW has begun developing a new Outback Jack-like reality dating series that will see if women who live the city-life can find love down on the farm.
FreemantleMedia North America -- the same production company behind Fox's American Idol -- has joined with The CW to produce Farmer Wants a Wife, which will follow 10 women who are sick of city-slickers and will instead try their hand at love with a good ole' country boy, Daily Varietyreported Friday. The series will have an eight-episode run that is scheduled to air during the 2007-2008 television season.
FreemantleMedia North America's chief creative officer Eugene Young told Variety that Farmer Wants a Wife will attempt to solve a problem many farmers face when attempting to find love.
"Farmers really are some of the last real American heroes, but it's not a way of life for a lot of women," Young told Variety, adding Farmer Wants a Wife will pay homage to "the last of a dying breed."
Because they'll be trying to woo someone who encompasses all aspects of rural living, the 10 women competing on Farmer Wants a Wife will vie for the bachelor's attention through a series of challenges, such as caring for farm animals and driving a tractor, Variety reported.
"It's got a lot of humor in it," The CW president Dawn Ostroff told Variety. "And I think it's the right time to do another dating show with a spin on it. [The CW's] Beauty and the Geek has a lot of humor in it, and this is in the same vein. [Reality series] are a way for us to get a lot of attention, make a little noise and hopefully get some viewers."
Farmer Wants a Wife will be executive produced by FreemantleMedia's Cecile Frot-Coutaz and Super Delicious' Adam Cohen, Cara Tapper and Joanna Vernetti.
Broadcast in Summer 2004 on TBS, Outback Jack's "fish out of water" concept featured 12 American women traveling to the Australian Outback to compete for the love of Vadim Dale, a "real-life Crocodile Dundee." The eight-episode series ended with Dale choosing Natalie Franzman, a hair colorist from Louisville, KY, to be his city girl girlfriend. Although TBS never renewed Outback Jack for a second season, the show did succeed in making a successful love match -- Dale and Franzman married in October 2005. Hunter Bella-Grace, the couple's first child, was born in November 2006.
However despite the similar concepts, Farmer Wants a Wife isn't an Outback Jack knock-off. The show is based on a Fremantle format that first aired on Britain's ITV1 network in 2001 -- three years before TBS debuted Outback Jack.