The game on the dating show
The genre waned for a while but it was later revived by The New Dating Game and the UK version Blind Date, and the original shows were popular in reruns, unusual for any game show.
Cable television revived some interest in these shows during the 1980s and 1990s, and eventually new shows began to be made along the old concepts.
The first gay version of these more realistic shows to receive mainstream attention was Boy Meets Boy, with a format similar to that of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
The show featured an unusual plot twist: eight of the men from the show's original dating pool were actually heterosexual men pretending to be homosexual; one important part of the plot was whether the gay contestant would be able to recognize the heterosexual men.
A completely new type of dating show merged the format with the reality game show and produced shows where the emphasis was on realistic actions and tensions, but which used less realistic scenarios than the traditional blind date: Some common threads run through these shows.
When participants are removed, it is usually done one at a time to drag out the action and get audience sympathy for specific players.
The audience sees only the game; an important feature of all dating game shows is that the contestants have little or no previous knowledge of each other, and are exposed to each other only through the game, which may include viewing a photograph or at least knowing the basic criteria for participation (typically participants are not already married).
Other shows focused on the conventional blind date, where two people were set up and then captured on video, sometimes with comments or subtitles that made fun of their dating behaviour.The various suitors were able to describe their rivals in uncomplimentary ways, which made the show work well as a general devolution of dignity.Questions were often obviously rigged to get ridiculous responses, or be obvious allusions to features of the participants' private areas.The Newlywed Game, by contrast, another Barris show, had recently married couples competing to answer questions about each other's preferences.The couple who knew each other the best would win the game; sometimes others got divorced.
The format of Barris's first dating show, The Dating Game, which commenced in 1965, put an unmarried man behind a screen to ask questions of three women who are potential mates, or one woman who asked questions of three men.