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Scripted dating shows

Scripted dating shows — Are ”Studs,” ”Love Connection,” and ”Personals” written?

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Wild sex!” ”A butt the size of Brooklyn!” ”A bathtub full of chocolate pudding!” You wonder how ordinary people on dating shows like Personals, Love Connection, and Studs can talk so trippingly? Rumor has it writers actually produce the sizzling double entendres that seem to be conversation by the contestants. Personals has writers, but Michael Burger, who hosts CBS’ late-night lovefest, says they exist only to make up a contestant’s ”five questions”; members of the opposite sex then guess the right answer. Example: Does Jill clean her ears five times a day or take potassium to lower her sex drive? (For the record, ears was the answer.) As for Personals’ ad libs, Burger claims, ”We make them up as we go along,” adding, ”Love Connection uses cue cards, and the contestants read off them.”

Love Connection executive producer Eric Lieber retorts, ”We never script.” But the syndicated show does have writers who interview the contestants immediately after their dates. ”We try to condense the activities,” Lieber explains. ”Right before the people go on the show, we remind them of the entertaining things they might have said. But no script is prepared.”

Over at Studs, a spokeswoman almost takes personal offense at the suggestion of scripts. ”We have no writers, just segment producers,” she says. Yet contestants on the Fox show say otherwise. On one show, host Mark DeCarlo asked the female guests, ”Who’s most likely to find creative uses for chocolate syrup?” The answer: a ”stud” who’d reported his dates were ”modest nights.”