ABC will have people date in the dark, CBS follows arranged marriages, undercover bosses

Several networks have announced new series recently.

ABC is producing Dating in the Dark, on which “three single men and three single women [live] together in a house” that’s completely dark, although they’ll “interact with each other, taking part in various dating activities”; “producers use night-vision technology to capture the action,” TV Week reports. It’s based upon Talpa’s Blind Love.

CBS, meanwhile, has ordered an obvious knock-off of Fox’s Secret Millionaire; CBS’ version is called Undercover Boss, on which “an executive at a major corporation goes undercover at his or her own company” and “works alongside his staffers in order to get an unfiltered look at the people and systems that make his company work,” according to TV Week.

CBS has ordered Arranged Marriage, a series from Magical Elves on which “four adults age approximately 25-45 who are anxious to get married but have been unsuccessful in their search for a mate” are matched by friends and family and then married, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which says the show “presents itself as a documentary series about finding true love, a show that extends the Eastern tradition of an arranged marriage (where friends and family select the mate) into the West.”

Dallas Cowboys player Terrell Owens is getting his own VH1 show that seems like a hybrid of VH1′s dating shows and docudramas. On The Terrell Owens Project, T.O. “will be shadowed in the off-season by his best friends and publicists Monique Jackson and Kita Williams as they “function as matchmakers and therapists and also put their marketing expertise to use and help him make his life off of the field as successful as his life on it,” according to the network.

A&E’s Obsessed will debut later this year and follow people “debilitated by extreme anxiety disorders, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, panic disorder and various phobias,” according to the network.

Simon Fuller, the creator of the Idol shows, is working with the “NOW That’s What I Call Music!” CD producers on a reality show that “doesn’t have a host yet, and they’re still kicking around format ideas,” the AP reports. NOW exec Bob Mercer said, “We want to make the show a platform for developing new artists.”

ABC, CBS Go for Reality [TV Week]
CBS picks up arranged-marriage series [Hollywood Reporter]
Terrell Owens Gets in the Game With a New Reality Show on VH1 [VH1]
A&E Greenlights New Original Real-Life Series “Obsessed” [A&E press release]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.