Major reality-TV news: The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss, unscripted guru Mike Darnell, and Bravo host Andy Cohen — a reality-TV axis of awesome — are joining forces to reboot the iconic 1980s dating game show Love Connection for Fox. The network Wednesday announced it has ordered 15 hour-long episodes of the new Love and plans to air them this summer, with Cohen taking over the on-air hosting role originally played by Chuck Woolery. The format of the reboot seems to be similar to the original, with single men and women going on blind dates and then returning to tell tales about their adventures with one another in front of a studio audience. Cohen, like Woolery, will play ringmaster, grilling the singles in a comedic way about their dates. “Hosting the new version allows me to do one of the things I love most: meddling in people’s personal lives,” Cohen said in a statement announcing the reboot.
The original Love Connection ran for 11 seasons, launching as a syndicated late-night show in 1983 and signing off in 1994 after more than 2,000 half-hour episodes. The series predated the modern reality-TV revolution, updating another classic relationship game show — The Dating Game — by letting singles speak frankly about their experiences in a way past TV shows hadn’t allowed. In many ways, the show would pave the way for Fleiss’s own evolution of the format a decade later with The Bachelor. Fox’s decision to revive Love follows ABC’s successful resurrection of a number of game show formats over the past two summers, including Family Feud, Match Game, and The $100,000 Pyramid. The new Love Connection will be produced by Fleiss’s Next Entertainment via Warner Horizon Television and Telepictures. Darnell, who now serves as president of unscripted for Warner Bros. Television, worked with Fleiss in the 1990s and early 2000s on a number of high-profile (and highly rated) reality specials and series, including Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?