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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.
"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. 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. 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 .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.