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Some gay and straight romances have been sparked on the other reality game shows, suggesting that they too may really be "dating shows" in disguise.But any social situation has the potential to result in romance, especially work.In shows involving couples, there is a substantial incentive to break up any of the existing relationships.In shows involving singles, there is a mismatch of numbers ensuring constant competition.As the 2000s progressed, the ratings for many of these shows began to decline, a situation exacerbated by the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy in 2004 as production companies out of fear of being imposed with monetary penalties by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for indecent content began self-censoring their dating shows (and many syndicated programs targeted at the 18-49 demographic, in general) to levels in which even profanities typically permissible on television were edited out of episodes.Since then, the dating game show has virtually died off from television syndication, though cable television networks such as VH1 have continued to air dating shows with content similar to that of the syndicated dating shows of the late 1990s and early 2000s and major over-the-air broadcast networks have tried, often with marginal success, to use dating shows that are less risque compared to those shows.The dating game show subgenre has its origins in the United States.
Human matchmaking is involved only in selecting the game's contestants, who are usually selected more for the amusement value than any concern for their happiness or compatibility.The audience sees only the game; an important feature of all dating game shows is that the contestants have little or no previous knowledge of each other, and are exposed to each other only through the game, which may include viewing a photograph or at least knowing the basic criteria for participation (typically participants are not already married).There have been a number of dating shows aired on television over the years, using a variety of formats and rules.Once, someone divorced after appearing on The Newlywed Game got a "second chance" on The Dating Game.
Gimmicks were the lifeblood of all such shows, which drew criticisms for instigating disaffection that could not have been effected.
The genre waned for a while but it was later revived by The New Dating Game and the UK version Blind Date, and the original shows were popular in reruns, unusual for any game show.