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).
Since then, the syndicated dating show has virtually died off from broadcast television syndication, though cable television networks such as VH1 have continued to use dating shows with content similar to that of the 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 not as raunchy as the syndicated shows that aired earlier in the decade.
A sobering caveat of the power of television and romance in combination came when a popular dating variant of the talk show, inviting secret admirers to meet on the stage, backfired on the Jenny Jones show.
By the late 1990s and early 2000s, a new wave of dating shows began airing in U. syndication that were more sexually suggestive than their earlier counterparts, including shows such as Blind Date, Elimidate and The Fifth Wheel, which often pushed boundaries of sexual content allowed on broadcast television.
As the 2000s progressed, many of these shows began to see sagging ratings and the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy in 2004 exacerbated the situation as the fear of monetary penalties by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for indecent content led many dating shows (and many syndicated programs targeted at the 18-49 demographic, in general) to be censored to the point where even profanities typically permissible on television were edited out of episodes.
Popular dating game shows were an innovation of TV producer Chuck Barris in the 1970s.
The Newlywed Game, by contrast, another Barris show, had recently-married couples competing to answer questions about each others' preferences. The genre waned for a while but The New Dating Game and the UK version Blind Date revived it, and the old shows were popular in reruns, unusual for any game show.
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).