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The Dating Game

ABC (ended 2000)



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The Dating Game

Show Summary

THE DATING GAME was and still is by all accounts, the premiere game show for singles. It was the forerunner for many imitators such as "Love Connection", MTV's "Singled Out" and numerous others. But they all have the same influence: Chuck Barris, the creator of the one that started it all! "THE DATING GAME" first premiered on December 20-24, 1965 on abc-TV and remained a fixture on the network in both daytime and nighttime incarnations through the rest of the 1960s and well into the 1970s. Jim Lange, fresh from his announcing duties with Tennessee Ernie Ford stepped through the flower-speckled rotating partitions for the first of many, many times shortly before Christmas 1965. The game play was simple. On one side you had 3 bachelors answering questions from a girl on the other side of the partition (each not being able to see the other). The girl was given a certain amount of time to ask as many questions as she could to the 3 bachelors. More often than not the questions would be of a quirky nature. (E.G.: "If we were marooned on a desert island, what would be the first thing you'd do and why?"). During a commercial break, the girl would think about which bachelor she'd select. When the show returned, Jim would have her announce her choice. After meeting the 2 boys she didn't select, she's meet her date at which point Jim would tell them where they were going for their dream date. On less frequent occasions, the roles were reversed. To wit, the game would feature a boy selecting 1 from the 3 Bachelorettes. The show became an enormous hit with young viewers. (In fact, in light of its success, Baskin-Robbins named an ice cream flavor in honor of the show.) And over the years, the show featured many stars of the day (Burt Reynolds, Paul Petersen and even Dick Clark showed up) as well as newcomers who would in later years become big stars in their own right (John Ritter, Teri Garr, Tom Selleck and Farrah Fawcett were among these.) The show left abc-TV on July 2-6, 1973, but stayed in syndication for another year (1973-1974) before leaving the airwaves altogether. Creator Chuck Barris brought the show back again 4 years later with Lange as host from 1978 to 1980. Along with an updated version of "The Newlywed Game" and 2 new shows, ("The Gong Show" and "The $1.98 Beauty Show") "The Dating Game" returned to syndicated in 1978, only this time with a more adult-oriented borderline dialogue format--perhaps in an effort to recapture the same audience that had grown up watching THE DATING GAME in the 1960s. The newer version- along with Jim Lange's gaudy red tuxedo- lasted for 2 years until local stations finally got tired of the protesting phone calls. Once again, the show featured both present-day and future stars such as Jaye P. Morgan, Bob Saget and Murray "The Unknown Comic" Langston. THE DATING GAME was all but forgotten until the mid-80s, when Barris decided to do it yet again. An all new 80s update of "The Dating Game (The All-New DATING GAME)" premiered on syndicated on September 8-12, 1986, but this time the hosting duties were handled by Elaine Joyce (Lange was busy at the time hosting "The $1,000,000 Chance Of A Lifetime"). This version lasted for three years with Joyce hosting the 1st season and Jeff McGregor hosting the last 2 Seasons and again as in the previous 2 incarnations, the show featured present and future stars. (Among the future stars was Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr.!) The Program Demised on September 8, 1989. Now... as for the NINETIES update? Well... I don't know terribly much about it except for the following: By the time the 90s rolled around, Chuck Barris sold the rights to all his shows to Columbia-Tristar Television. A newer, corporate-whitewashed version of the DATING GAME was released on September 9-13, 1996 and packaged with another updated version of "The Newlywed Game", this time with Chuck ("Love Connection") Woolery (1st Host is Whose Line is it Anyway (US) Brad Sherwood for the 1st Season for the difference) and outside of the quizzer and the respective suitors & suitorettes not being able to see one another, the rules were almost completely overhauled and all ended the show on September 15, 2000. But if you're a game show retrophile like me, you would have to agree that there's just no Dating Game without Jim Lange with or without the awful tux. And now you don't have to suffer from Lange withdrawal because Game Show Network has some episodes to show you... And HEEEEEEEE-RE THEY ARRRRRRRR-RE! Now you can see the classic Jim Lange episodes of the original DATING GAME on The Game Show Network- in particular, the ones that featured present-day and future superstars. You can see them Saturday and Sunday nights at 11:30pm on GSN. Enjoy them if you can... and if you can't stay up that late, TAPE THEM... LIKE ME!! (Dates with celebrities are always subject to their availability.) THE BROADCAST HISTORY of THE DATING GAME: December 20, 1965-March 31, 1967 at 11:30am-12Noon on ABC-TV April 3, 1967-July 12, 1968 at 4:00-4:30pm on ABC-TV July 15, 1968-July 6, 1973 at 2:30-3:00pm on ABC-TV. On 1st Run Syndicated from September 10, 1973-September 15, 2000.moreless
Nancy Giles

Nancy Giles

Announcer (1996-1997)

Brad Sherwood

Brad Sherwood

Host (1996-1997)

Johnny Jacobs

Johnny Jacobs

Announcer (1965-1986) (Dead in 1982)

Elaine Joyce

Elaine Joyce

Herself (1986-1987)

Jim Lange

Jim Lange

Host (1965-1986)

Charlie O'Donnell

Charlie O'Donnell

Announcer (1987-1989)

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  • To be a teenager in this day in age is hard enough yet alone trying to bring up our kids now.

    To be a teenager in this day in age is hard enough yet alone trying to bring up our kids now. The Dating Game gives that sense of confidence to be able to cope and understand what can and could happen to any kids or adults in real life. I myself have had a few experiences like anyone else and too have this

    show in my life it is like a blessing.moreless
  • Chuck Barris Introduction to the World

    Chuck "Chucky Baby" Barris' introduction to the world, well not on camera for a few years with the Gong Show

    Ex-Tennessee Ernie Ford Announcer and Straight man Jim Lange is better known out of the hosts of this show!

    As this was the front-runner and the original of all game shows for singers

    Three men and a woman hidden from each other's view as the woman decides who she would love to go out with

    Based on personality and romantic interest

    The man she chooses both go out with the supervision of a chaperone, on a night on the town or an all expense paid vacationmoreless

    Cable channel revives Newlywed, Dating games

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    More Info About This Show


    Game Show, Reality