Netflix has gone full-in with dating reality TV, especially with Love is Blind, which is its breakout Bachelor-style hit, having already devolved into just another opportunity for desperate people to meet new Instagram followers.
Dating shows work so well Netflix is even flavoring its other competition TV with romance: The new season of The Circle, which comes out in a few weeks, has a cast of (actually, not deceptively) single people, so the trailer plays up their flirting and possible love matches.
The next logical step for Netflix is creating a way to recycle all these disposed-of cast members, now that viewers know them—or love and/or loathe them.
That’s actually been in the works for more than a year, I’ve learned, with an all-star dating competition called Perfect Match.
What is Netflix’s Perfect Match?
I’ve confirmed Perfect Match’s existence through reports from various crew members who worked on the show. Producers and crew members have worked on shows from Survivor to Naked and Afraid, The Bachelor to The Ultimatum.
Like Netflix’s Love is Blind and The Ultimatum, this new reality TV dating competition will be produced by Kinetic Content.
That means new cast members will be coming in throughout the season, while others will leave. However, it will not be live like Love Island, so viewers will play no role in voting people in or out, or matching them together.
I do not know more about the format or its nuances, such as how the game works or if there will be a host. The title suggests there could be some kind of Are You The One?-type matching, but having cast members not entering the competition until later episodes makes that unlikely.
The one obvious difference between those other dating competitions and Perfect Match is that Netflix will draw its cast from its own pool of competition and dating reality TV shows.
That means cast members from:
- The Circle, Netflix’s first real competition hit
- Love is Blind, in which straight people decide to get married after talking to each other through a speaker for a few days, and then are annoying until they decide to split up
- The Mole, Netflix’s revival of the classic format of deception
- Sexy Beasts, Netflix’s version of a dating format in which people go on first dates wearing stage makeup that makes them unrecognizable
- Too Hot to Handle, the show that rewards horny people for not acting on their horniness
- The Ultimatum, more straight people being annoying
The only individual person I’ve confirmed is on Perfect Match is the winner of The Mole.
Update: Shortly after this was published, a reader pointed me to a cast list posted last March by reliable spoiler PinkRose at Vevmo for an “Untitled Netflix Dating Show,” which is very clearly the same show.
When will Perfect Match be on Netflix?
Perfect Match was in production during the first few months of 2022, and obviously is still not yet on the air.
It’s not yet been announced by Netflix. That’s not unusual; The Mole wasn’t even announced until more than a year after it filmed.
People who worked on Perfect Match, however, have talked behind the scenes about how chaotic the parts of the process have been, especially in post-production.
While episodes were targeted to broadcast length of about 42 minutes, at one point the premiere episode was about 90 minutes long thanks to a ludicrous number of notes from executives.
A lot of shows have suffered during production or post and come out perfectly fine. For example, the first season of the charming and delightful Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman-hosted Making It was notoriously a complete mess before it was fixed with reshoots and in editing.
Based on the production cycle and Netflix’s past competition show schedules, I’d guess we’ll hear more about and see Perfect Match in the first quarter of 2023.
The single-themed season five of The Circle doesn’t premiere until Dec. 28, so if some of its cast members have been cast (I have no idea if they have or not), Netflix couldn’t reveal Perfect Match’s cast until after The Circle.
Perfect Match’s cast
Update: Today, Jan. 17, Netflix announced Perfect Match, and its cast. Eleven of the 23 cast members are from The Circle or Love is Blind; there are two from The Mole.
The show will premiere Feb. 14, and stream four episodes a week for three weeks. Netflix describes it this way:
Perfect Match brings together the most famously single stars of Netflix’s unscripted series (Love Is Blind, The Ultimatum, Too Hot To Handle, The Mole and more) to a tropical paradise in an attempt to find love. As they compete to form relationships, the most compatible couples will play matchmaker, breaking up other couples and sending them on dates with brand-new singles they’ll invite to the villa. Will they create better matches, or will they create chaos? In this over-the-top journey of strategy and dating hosted by Nick Lachey, only one couple will be crowned the Perfect Match.
So, basically Love Island.
The cast members are:
- Abbey Humphreys, Twentysomethings
- Anne-Sophie Petit-Frere, Selling Tampa
- Bartise Bowden, Love Is Blind
- Calvin Crooks, The Circle
- Chase DeMoor, Too Hot To Handle
- Chloe Veitch, Too Hot To Handle and The Circle
- Colony Reeves, Selling Tampa
- Damian Powers, Love Is Blind
- Diamond Jack, Love Is Blind
- Dom Gabriel, The Mole
- Francesca Farago, Too Hot To Handle
- Georgia Hassarati, Too Hot To Handle
- Ines Tazi, The Circle France
- Izzy Fairthorne, Too Hot To Handle
- Joey Sasso, The Circle
- Kariselle Snow, Sexy Beasts
- Lauren “LC” Chamblin, Love Is Blind
- Mitchell Eason, The Circle
- Nick Uhlenhuth, The Circle
- Savannah Palacio, The Circle
- Shayne Jansen, Love Is Blind
- Will Richardson, The Mole
- Zay Wilson, The Ultimatum