Netflix Hits Big With Dating Shows, But Can ‘The Bachelor’ Ever Be Beat? – Variety
Dating shows have always been a guilty pleasure. Ever since the ’60s with “The Dating Game” and “The Newlywed Game,” audiences have been hooked. But in the modern viewing era, only one franchise has stuck in viewers’ hearts.
“The Bachelor” debuted in 2002, and nearly two decades later, no other show has managed to break through. But almost 20 years after the ABC franchise premiered, romantic reality shows are again having a moment.
Now, in our shelter-at-home world, audiences have found a trio of Netflix shows: the social experiment series “The Circle”; “Love Is Blind,” viewed in more than 30 million households in its first two months; and the raunchier “Too Hot to Handle,” which challenges horny 20-somethings to refrain from engaging in sexual activity while frolicking around a sun-drenched resort in swimsuits.
“We’ve been able to carve out a realistic and reflective way of how society is,” says Brandon Riegg, who heads unscripted originals at Netflix, attributing the success of his shows to their modern-day take on love that draws parallels to online dating, social media and hyper-connectivity.