NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution has renewed the reality relationship strip Blind Date for its seventh season.
The renewal comes despite a big ratings drop for Blind Date and the entire genre this past year.
Season-to-date, ratings for Blind Date are down 25% from a 1.6 national AA rating in 2004 to a 1.2 in 2005, while its primary competitor, Telepictures’ Elimidate, has is down 21% over the same period, from a 1.4 to a 1.1.
The dating genre, which only a few years ago boasted a multitude of strips, has been pretty much a wallflower, in part because of its explosion, then flameout, in network prime time reality.
The renewal of Blind Date, sold in more than 92% of the U.S. for next season, will give the NBC syndication operation a continuing presence on Tribune, with Maury and The Jerry Springer Show appearing on the Tribune stations and Date moving from primarily Fox O&Os to primarily Tribune outlets.
In addition, NBC U has renewed syndicated weekles The Chris Matthews Show (fourth season), George Michael's Sports Machine (22nd season), and The Wall Street Journal Report (second season).