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Love Is in the Air
February 11

Also available as a podcast. Click to listen!We start this week with a lot of love-related news in the TV world. We first start with the controversial news that CBS has greenlit a reality series based on the concept of arranged marriage.

According to and the Hollywood Reporter, the producers of "Top Chef" (Magical Elves) have produced a series that puts lovelorn singles into arranged marriages. The working title is “Arranged Marriage.”

The show concept introduces four adults in the 25‑45 age range who are eager to get married but have been unsuccessful in their search for a mate. Their friends and family select a spouse for them, and the newly paired couple exchange marital vows. The series follows their marriages.

It is the second new series greenlit by CBS' new reality chief, Jennifer Bresnan, after the recent order for "Block Party," a competition among neighboring families.

CBS is no stranger to reality controversy with the Fall 2007 reality show “Kid Nation”, where kids ran a western town.

This is not the first time we have seen an “Arranged Marriage” like series. One of the worst reality series of all time “Married by America” debuted on Fox in 2003. In that case couples were paired by viewers voting from home and then sequestered in a hotel to learn more about each other...and no one got married. On the radio, WPLJ-FM in New York tried this a few years ago on Valentine’s Day where two strangers who never met were “married” by Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill and tried to have it work out.  It didn’t.

CBS is claiming these couples will be married.  In my opinion, this is a publicity grab by the folks at CBS. And yes, the conservative outcry will be huge. And people will the least first episode. I don’t see good things coming out of this.

Going from arranged Newlyweds. We have news regarding the new Michael Davies’s production of the Newlywed Game. First, we have a new host. And it’s the first female host in the show’s history. Carnie Wilson, the daughter of Brian Wilson and member of Wilson Phillips will host.

"I've always loved game shows," said the 40‑year‑old Wilson, "My personality and energy is perfect for something like this. First of all, I'm married, and I loved watching 'The Newlywed Game' when I was younger. I watched it all the time. I always hoped the couples would start fighting."

And to further this, I attended the first taping session this past week. This is what I can disclose:

–The front game is pretty much the same, except that there are three couples instead of four. The prize they are going for is a second honeymoon. The other contestant teams get a gift certificate. Also, there is a corporate presence from

–The set is excellent. Behind the couples are plasmas which show the newlywed in “photo booth” style poses. Nice touch. And keeping with the Davies theme, we have a combination of neon on the outside, with wood grain on the panels with love seats. Warm and inviting.

–The bonus round pits the winning team against “Goldyweds”–a couple who went on the original Newlywed Game and are still married. The winning team gets a bonus prize.

From what I saw, Carnie Wilson has a huge upside...she is a ball of fire even being 5 months pregnant. She has a good off the cuff relationship with the contestants. She will get better as the tapings progress. And I think this show is going to be a hit. I really do. Watch for it April 6th on GSN.

To finish the love theme, we are in the Valentine’s Day season, and people are overpaying for flowers, cards, chocolates, perfume, lingerie and jewelry which they could get much cheaper on February 15. But I ask...why do most relationship/dating shows not produce long term happy relationships? And why do these shows still stay on the air?

The relationship success for TV based dating shows is rare. You do see a few happy endings to the fairy tale. Rob and Amber from the Amazing Race. Trista and Ryan are still married. But for everyone of these successes, you have Momma’s Boys, most of the Bachelors, pretty much every VH1 dating series and tons of others just flame out.

The reason why you have so many reality dating shows on the air is that for the most part, we as viewers are closet romantics. Everyone wants to see love, or in some cases lust, happen. Most of the dating shows on TV...going back as far as the Dating Game to Love Connection, to the more recent examples of “Shot of Love”, “Flavor of Love”, and “Rock of Love” give the fantasy that you can find true love through a casting agency on TV. It rarely happens, but it is the perception.

To answer the 1st question....a lot of the people who appear on dating shows suffer from PPS...Pretty People Syndrome. The producers edit the shows as a competition instead of a organic relationship. Love is never easy, and it really is hard when you force affections down people’s throat in front of a 24‑7 TV crew. I believe these shows make men and women look very shallow and treat love as a sport.

I believe, and know from first hand experience that the “faux” love you see on TV....isn’t. Love is what people experience every day when cameras aren’t on the air. Relationships are hard work, and when you try and find it on just won’t happen.

Thought the SAG labor troubles were just about over? Think again. According to Richard Verrier of the Los Angeles Times,  Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg has launched a legal challenge to the legitimacy of the union's newly appointed leadership. Rosenberg and Anne‑Marie Johnson, the union's first vice president, notified SAG on Monday of their intent to file a lawsuit seeking to reinstate Doug Allen as the union's chief negotiator and to reconstitute the guild's former negotiating committee, people close to the union said. They also maintain that the board's action was unwarranted and "undemocratic." The SAG leaders contend that the board's vote, which occurred by means of a "written assent," violated California's corporate code and should thus be nullified.

The union leaders also are seeking an injunction that would block the new negotiating team from moving ahead with contract talks. Although the legal challenge is considered a long shot, it could delay the talks for at least a week, people close to the negotiations say.

In my opinion, this is a last ditch effort by the Strike at all Costs wing to try to exercise their power in the Union. The actors have been working without a contract for over 7 months now. They need a deal now and let the moderate wing take control and get a deal done. Let it go. It’s over.

Finally, I got a few requests for information on the new Nickelodeon Show “Brain Surge”. This description from On-Camera Audiences sounds interesting... “BrainSurge is Nickelodeon's new kids game show where contestants will be put through four levels of games and puzzles that test their memory and comprehension skills. From puzzles that test their quick eye and reflexes to funny stories that test their ability to pay attention, as well as concentration games where making a perfect match can mean advancing to the next level.

Watching BrainSurge is like participating as the audience is able to play along with all of the puzzles and stories and matching games. Winners from each round move on while those who don't qualify for the next level go down the BRAIN DRAIN to get SLIMED.” 

Sounds like fun. They are taping on February 16th and 17th. Check it out at

Random Newsbits:

–Condolences go out to the family of Clint Ritchie of One Life to Live, who died this week at 70.

–Howie Mandel becomes the Spokesman from Adult ADHD in the “Adult ADD is Real” campaign.

–Donny Osmond is definitely NOT doing Dancing with the Stars this season...but might want to do it in the Fall. If you want to know who Sunday February 8th on ABC.

–Billy the Elephant is staying in the LA Zoo and Bob Barker “was terribly disappointed” in the decision of the LA City Council.

–Former New York Giant Michael Strahan and Fox Sports’s Jay Glazer host “Pros v. Joes 4: All-Stars” on Spike.

–Carmen Rasmusen from Season 2 of American Idol, welcomes her first son, Boston.

–Simon Fuller and 19 Entertainment is shopping the format of “Now That’s What I Call Music”

–Dan Clark of American Gladiators writes a tell all book.

–Carol Volderman wants to lead a campaign to help British kids improve their math skills by improving the quality of British Math Teachers.

–Vanna White was in Jamaica to tape some segments for Wheel’s Sandals Resorts week.

–Ben Stein’s speaking engagement at the University of Vermont Graduation ceremony gets cancelled because of his views on religion (he supports Intelligent Design) and how evolution led to eugenics

–Tiffany “New York” Pollard is part of an all-black troupe of “The Vagina Monologues”.

–Jennifer Hudson fantastic version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is now on iTunes.

–Power of 10 arrives on UK cellphones.

–Endemol sells “Wipeout” and “Fear Factor” to Middle Eastern Markets.

–Can You Duet gets a season 2 and casting calls for CMT.

–And Vivica Fox signs onto “The Cougar”...a TV Land production where an accomplished, beautiful and sexy woman hunts for love from a pool of eligible younger men. This is a Mike Fleiss Production.

Jason Block was also born on February 14. Wish him a happy one at