|Created by||Eric Lieber|
|Presented by||Chuck Woolery (1983–1994)
Pat Bullard (1998–1999)
|Narrated by||Rod Roddy (1983–1985, 1986)
Gene Wood (1985–1988)
Rich Jeffries (1987)
Johnny Gilbert (1988–1989)
John Cervenka (1989–1994, 1998–1999)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||11 (1983–1994)
|No. of episodes||2,425|
|Location(s)||KTTV Metromedia Square
ABC Television Center
TAV Celebrity Theater
Hollywood Center Studios
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Eric Lieber Productions (1983–1994)|
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
|Original run||September 19, 1983
– July 1, 1994|
September 21, 1998 – June 4, 1999
Love Connection is an American television game show, hosted by Chuck Woolery, in which singles attempted to connect with a compatible partner of the opposite gender. The show debuted in syndication on September 19, 1983 and ended on July 1, 1994, after more than 2,000 shows. Reruns continued to air until September 8, 1995, and then the USA Network picked up reruns of the show the following Monday (see below). The series was relaunched for one season in 1998 under the same title with Pat Bullard as host.
Love Connection was produced by Eric Lieber Productions in association with and distributed by Telepictures (1983–1986), Lorimar-Telepictures (1986–1989), Lorimar Television (1989–1993), and Warner Bros. Television (1989–1994).
The show was conceived as a modernized variant of The Dating Game, but with the opposite perspective.
The Dating Game focused entirely on the choice of a dating partner; the date itself was a complete afterthought. A "bachelor or bachelorette" guest would question three potential dates who were present on the show's set, unseen, behind a barrier, and choose one of them. The guest would then meet his or her choice (after meeting the two losers), the venue for their date would be announced, and no further follow-up was offered; the audience never learned when (or if) the date actually took place, or whether it was a success or failure.
Love Connection addressed the other end of the encounter: By the time the couple appeared on the show, they had already met and gone on their date. The guest had been offered his or her choice of three candidates selected by the show's producers. The choice was made solely on the basis of videotaped profiles. The couple then went on what was essentially a blind date, their first (and often only) face-to-face encounter. After the date, an appearance on the show would be scheduled for the purpose of discussing the details of the date.
Other distinctions between the two dating shows included the contestants' minimum age (18 for Dating Game, but 23 (later 21) for Love Connection); and supervision of the date itself: A chaperone accompanied all Dating Game couples, while Love Connection dates were unchaperoned.
Love Connection tapings took place before a live studio audience. The guest would be introduced by Woolery, and excerpts from the three candidates' videos would be shown. The studio audience members then voted on which candidate they thought would be the guest's best choice. (Results of the audience vote were not disclosed at this point.) In the 1998-99 version, home viewers also participated in the voting via the show's website, and their votes counted toward the overall vote with the studio audience. The guest then announced which of the three he or she had actually chosen, and that person, who was backstage in front of a closed-circuit television camera, was introduced. Since contestants were not permitted any sort of contact in the interim, this was theoretically the couple's first interaction since the date. Each party then related his or her impressions of the date's events, with Woolery acting as intermediary and facilitator. If both parties agreed that the date had been successful, the couple would be reunited onstage. If it had not gone well, the backstage contestant would disappear at the conclusion of the (often tumultuous) interview, never to be seen again. Woolery then revealed the results of the studio audience's earlier voting.
If the date had gone well, and a majority of studio audience members had agreed with the guest's choice, Woolery would congratulate the happy couple for making a "love connection." After confirming that they wished to see each other again — usually a formality, but in rare instances successful couples would elect not to pursue a further relationship — they would be offered a second date at the show's expense.
In the event that the date had been successful but the audience had made a different selection, the guest was given the choice of a second date with the same candidate, or a date with the candidate chosen by the audience.
If the date had been unsuccessful, and the audience had chosen a different candidate, the guest was offered a date with the audience's selection.
If the guest and the audience had both been wrong - that is, the guest and audience had picked the same candidate, but the date had not gone well - the guest was offered a date with either of the two unsuccessful candidates.
If a second date took place, the couple would be invited back for a second interview at a later taping.
The great majority of contestants were in their twenties and had never been married. However, older never-married, widowed, and divorced (some multiple times) contestants were occasionally selected as well. The show paid the expenses incurred on the date, plus $75 for incidentals. The incidental amount was increased to $100 for the 1998-1999 revival.
Usually, two or three segments aired per show. In a variation that aired on Fridays, a bachelor or bachelorette who had not yet chosen a date would make an appearance and allow the studio audience to make the choice for him or her, based on video excerpts. The couple would report back in the usual fashion several weeks later. If the couple hit it off, they were entitled to a second date at the show's expense. If not, the contestant could choose between the two losing candidates for the second date.
The show was one of the biggest game show hits of the 1980s and early 1990s, and helped revive Chuck Woolery's hosting career. At 11 seasons and 2,000+ episodes, it was one of the longest lasting game shows in syndication. For many years it was third behind Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! for longest lasting game show in syndication, but since has been surpassed by Family Feud and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Coincidentally, the show premiered on the same date (September 19) that Woolery's former show, Wheel of Fortune, debuted its syndicated edition in 1983.
As of 1993, of the roughly 22,000 couples who met on the show, there were a total of 29 marriages, 8 engagements, and 15 children, according to Woolery.
"Two and two"
Woolery created his trademark phrase, "two and two" on Love Connection (and simultaneously on Scrabble, the daytime game show he hosted during the same period). The line referred to the fact that the program would return in two minutes and two seconds, the total length of a standard commercial break at the time.
The Chuck Woolery episodes were rerun on the USA Network from October 16, 1995 to June 6, 1997 and on the Game Show Network from January 6, 2003 to July 18, 2008. Beginning November 9, 2009, the Woolery episodes returned to GSN's weekday lineup but have since been removed. The Pat Bullard version has not been aired since its cancellation.
- The Intelligencer - September 8, 1995
- mentioned on a 1985 episode re-aired on GSN
- Meyers, Kate (1993-02-12). "Valentine's Connection". ew.com. Retrieved 2008-10-18.
- "GSN Brings the Love Early With a Three-Hour, Pre-Valentine's Day 'LOVE CONNECTION'". reuters.com. 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2008-10-18.
- The Intelligencer - October 16, 1995
- The Post Standard - June 6, 1997
- GSN Schedule PDFs - July 14–20, 2008
- GSN Schedule PDFs - November 16–22, 2009