Going to EX-treme
By Steve McClellan -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/14/2002 8:00:00 PM
Twentieth Television confirmed last week that it will roll out a relationship show called EX-treme Dating (B&C, July 1) on July 29. Initially, the show will air on co-owned Fox TV stations in New York; Los Angeles; Washington; Houston; Minneapolis; Phoenix; Orlando, Fla.; and Baltimore. Collectively, those stations cover about 21% of the U.S.
EX-treme Dating is the latest of a flurry of relationship, or dating, shows launched in the past year. Last fall, four of the 12 new first-run strips were dating shows, trying to capture some of the success of the veterans in the genre, Universal's Blind Date and Warner Bros.'Change of Heart. Of the four, three have been renewed: Warner Bros.'Elimidate, Columbia TriStar's Ship Mates and Universal's The Fifth Wheel. Paramount's Rendez-View will not return.
Elimidate clearly took rookie-of-the-year honors in the genre. Season to date (through June 23), it has the best Nielsen ratings in the adults 18-34 and 18-49 demos of any of the 12 new first-run strips that started the 2001-02 season. It's second in the dating genre behind Blind Date in household rating with a 1.5 and second in the key demos as well.
EX-treme Dating follows a couple on a date while their conversation is tapped by two of the "exes" of one of the daters. The other dater wears an earpiece and receives feedback from the exes on how honest (or not) the companion is. "Ex-treme Dating puts a unique twist on the relationship genre, as it proves the old saying, 'Be careful what you wish for,'" said Twentieth Television President Bob Cook.
The show will air in early- or late-fringe time periods on the eight Fox-owned stations, seven of which are UPN affiliates. In New York, for example, the show will air on WWOR-TV at 11 p.m. leading out of news. In Los Angeles, it will air on KCOP(TV) at 6:30 p.m., sandwiched between two runs of Blind Date.
The show is the latest slow-rollout from Twentieth and its co-owned TV-station group. Good Day Live was rolled out just last month to 60% of the U.S. after being test-marketed on a handful of Fox outlets.
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