Blind Date (U.S. TV series)
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|Genre||Dating game show|
|Presented by||Roger Lodge|
|Theme music composer||Devin Powers|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||8|
|No. of episodes||119|
|Running time||23 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Gold Coast Television Entertainment|
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution|
|Original release||September 20, 1999– September 13, 2006|
During each episode, people who did not know each other were paired up and sent off on a blind date. The cameras followed their every move, while commentary in the form of subtitles, animations, and "thought bubbles" was added by the show's producers. The show was hosted by Roger Lodge.
The dates were often unsuccessful, with said failures alternating between pleasant/boring times when there was no shared romantic spark and horrendous conflicts that included verbal and physical altercations, but a fair number of dates did end up going well and had the daters saying they would go out again in the future (the show would sometimes follow up and see if that actually happened; the most common result was that subsequent dates did happen but did not produce long-term relationships). The series developed a reputation for distorting reality, as contestants stated that daters who were nice people were made to look like monsters and dates where the couple got along being presented as "Dates from Hell". Certain especially disastrous pairings were described as "Dates From Hell," and the show frequently concluded with excerpts from the show's "Hall of Shame" (embarrassing moments), "Cutting Room Floor" (footage that was comic but not deemed integral to a date's narrative), and "Hot Zone" (extremely sexy footage from successful dates). A few times people ended up appearing multiple times throughout the course of the series, a spot reserved for famously and wildly unsuccessful daters like annoying Nicolas Cage-impersonating Johnny or shockingly angry and bitter divorcee Ward. Sometimes the subtitle "Three Strikes, You're Out" would be used on a date to indicate that the person has twice before appeared on the show with unsuccessful dates and is foreshadowed to be another unsuccessful date yet again. Blind Date occasionally matched up people older than the usual under-30 age group. Two couples who met on the show did get married in real life, with both weddings featured in special episodes. In season 1 of the show, the dates had specific themes such as "The Whole Ball of Wax" and "Hot and Cold". From seasons 2-7, the themed dates would be dropped.
The program also produced a series of "uncensored" specials. A few were released on home video but most were available only via pay-per-view television. While these shows were filled with nudity and language not suitable for regular television, they all featured Blind Date's signature humorous thought bubbles, lower third text, and graphics. Some of the more popular specials were "Hot Tubs of Horror" (and its sequel) and the "Extremely Uncensored Games" (a sports parody complete with animated announcers).
The 5th Wheel show spinoff
The 5th Wheel was a spinoff show that was created after the huge success of the sister show, featuring more provocative and sexual content and airing between 2001 to 2004. Each episode would begin with a group of four daters divided 2/2 by gender. After all combinations of man/woman spent some time together and interviewed (privately) how they felt things were going, the titular "5th Wheel" would be introduced. The 5W person could either be male or female and would compete with the now-trio of the 3/2 gender split for the affections of the remaining 2 men/women. At the end of the show, all of the contestants would say who they wanted to go out with again (or fairly often, they'd say "none of these jackasses") and if there was a Tinder-style match the couple would usually hug and kiss and then interview that they were looking forward to seeing each other outside the show. While there was almost always one person left dateless, there were exceptions to this: in one episode a man and woman chose each other but the remaining two women BOTH chose the remaining man and he also chose both of them, and in another the two women were so grossed out by the three men that they both chose none of them and left them in miserable loser-dom.