NEW REALITY: VIEWERS PLAY MATCHMAKER
Sun Jan 19, 4:01 AM ET
By DON KAPLAN
Here's a dilemma: You're a reality TV fanatic who's got an itch to get hitched, but just can't find the perfect mate. Why not let America decide whom you should marry?
A new reality show called "Married by America" is heading to Fox in March and could easily follow in the footsteps of "Joe Millionaire" to become the next big buzz-worthy reality show.
"Married" will follow four single people - two men and two women - looking to settle down.
With the help of a relationship expert, five potential mates will be hand-picked for each contestant.
Their friends and family will narrow the five down to two potential mates, and viewers will vote to decide which one will get engaged to each of the single people.
But here's the twist.
At the end of the show, each of the four will propose, or be proposed to, from behind a curtain. They won't get to see their partner-to-be until after the ring has changed hands.
Critics might slam shows like "Joe Millionaire," "The Bachelor" and even "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire" for their hefty cheese factors, but TV industry analyst Marc Berman says the public's appetite has been whetted for bizarre relationship shows.
"Of course people are going to watch a show about arranged marriages. I would be shocked if they didn't," he said.
After "Joe Millionaire" ends, "Viewers are going to be used to that kind of show in that time period. They're going to want to watch something similar."