Fox’s new dating show The Choice started out as ”a goof,” says the network’s president of alternative programming, Mike Darnell. That’s a fitting description: The concept, which sounds like a Saturday Night Live parody of NBC’s The Voice, has four celebrity bachelors sitting in spinning chairs with their backs to sexy singles who parade on stage and ”audition” for a date. But after putting stars like singer Joe Jonas, actor Dean Cain, and fashion model Tyson Beckford in the hot seats during the show’s taping last week, the veteran executive declares, with a greater-than-usual amount of pre-premiere enthusiasm, ”It’s the best format I’ve had in years. It works beautifully on all levels.” Not that there weren’t some challenges. Luring even B-list talent to the first celebrity-dating broadcast show was difficult, despite the program’s modest time commitment (a celeb’s episode and the resulting date are both shot in a single day). ”It’s going to be much easier to cast on the second round,” predicts Darnell, who is confident about renewal. Fox, which has paired The Choice with its other new dating show, Take Me Out, on Thursdays starting June 7, has lined up Rob Kardashian, Rocco DiSpirito, Mike ”The Situation” Sorrentino, and others for subsequent episodes (see the full list below). And the concept will also be turned around — with female celebrities, including Carmen Electra and former Miss USA Rima Fakih, sitting in the four spinning chairs. The switcheroo, Darnell discovered, made The Choice more sexually charged. ”It was more acceptable for [the women contestants] to be raunchy,” he says. Especially on Fox.
The 24 celebs looking for love on Fox’s The Choice include athletes, an American Idol, and a couple of Shore things
Dr. Robert Nettles