Prime Time Personals -- We talk to the creator of the new TV dating service

By Benjamin Svetkey
Updated August 09, 1991 at 04:00 AM EDT

Here’s a clever new way to humiliate yourself in front of millions of people: Prime Time Personals, a TV dating service arriving this month on various cable channels in 10 cities across the country. Send in a photo and a brief message, and PTP will broadcast your classified ad, along with dozens of others from video-savvy singles, on a half-hour show seven nights a week. If Mr. or Ms. Right is out there, he or she can dial a local number and record some heavy breathing just for you (which you can hear for $2.70 a minute).

”I figured, wouldn’t it be great if you could meet people on TV?” says David Gottschalk, the 30-year-old attorney who created the show. ”Wouldn’t it be great if you could meet your mate in bed?” Gottschalk spent $50,000 of his own money developing the idea and launched the first PTP program on a New York City cable channel in April. ”The response has been incredible,” he says. ”We’ve got 1,500 calls for classifieds so far.” Local versions of PTP programs will soon premiere on cable channels in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, Philadelphia, Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Miami. More cities will be added in the fall. Gottschalk, for one, thinks the show will be the biggest boon to romance since Godiva chocolates. ”It’s not something I need for myself,” he says. ”I’m married. I met my wife on the Long Island Railroad.”