Lifetime to air blind dates live on new reality show

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Lifetime is taking the “Live PD” model a step further — by tracking dates in real time.

“Date Night Live,” premiering July 27 (10 p.m.-midnight), will follow couples in New York City, Atlanta, Dallas and San Diego as they go on dates, followed by cameras to capture all the action (or not) — live and unfiltered. The show comes from Big Fish Entertainment, which produces (sister network) A&E’s successful “Live PD,” in which cameras follow cops out in the field in real time.

“We couldn’t have done this, from a technical standpoint, without the amazing work they’ve done on ‘Live PD,’” says Liz Gateley, Lifetime’s EVP Head of Programming. “It really came from a brainstorm — how can we change up the format? You need to give viewers a reason to show up live now. Women watch a lot of sports and live events.”

‘It’s going to be exciting to embrace the long pauses and awkwardness of the conversation … what really happens on a first date?’

“Date Night Live” will be hosted from “Live PD’s” New York studio by Michelle Collins (“The View”), Z100’s Bethany Watson (“Elvis Duran and the Morning Show”) and entrepreneur/relationship expert Paul Brunson — all three of whom will comment on the dates as cameras cut back and forth between the four cities.

“We’ll be going from darkness in New York City [at 10 p.m.] to dusk in San Diego,” says Gateley. “The people will know they’re going on dates — we’re not just going to walk up and randomly ask people.” Gateley says the couples — who will be meeting each other for the first time in the opening episode — were paired by a relationship expert, who interviewed each person via Skype (likes, dislikes, etc.) before making the matches.

“From there it’s hands-off,” she says. “There’s no producing, no checking in with the hosts or crossing any lines. The producers will need to break the 4th Wall — there are going to be cameras walking through — but it’s going to be live.

“We have about six or seven dates lined up per episode; we’ll see if we get to all of those depending on what happens. We’ll be ping-ponging back and forth between dates.” Gateley says producers don’t yet know where the couples in each city will be going, but it’s likely that, at least for the first date, it will be a “social gathering place” (i.e. a restaurant).

Michelle CollinsLifetime

“We really want to cast this with a diversity of ages, types … we have some gay dates and have people who are divorced and are going out for the first time since their divorce,” she says. “I think it’s going to be exciting to embrace the long pauses and awkwardness of the conversation … what really happens on a first date?” she says. “When someone goes to the bathroom, what does the other person do? So much of the other dating shows are overedited and overproduced — now you’ll get the complete opposite.

“We’ll be able to see what the audience thinks in real time, who their favorites are,” she says, “like if someone is jilted and we want to have them back.

“We’ll be all over the Twittersphere during production, as Dan [Abrams] does on ‘Live PD.’ This is the first show to ever show a date without the hand of a producer [overseeing it].”



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