By Kristen Baldwin
April 24, 2018 at 03:01 PM EDT
Ida Mae Astute/ABC

When producer Mike Fleiss isn’t tweeting things about the latest season of The Bachelorette, he’s busy thinking up new ways that young, attractive single people can embarrass themselves on television. His latest a reality dating show called The Proposal, which ABC announced Tuesday. As a longtime member of Bachelor Nation, I’m naturally a little skeptical of any dating show that doesn’t involve Chris Harrison and roses… even if it does spawn from Fleiss’ twisted mind. Below, check out ABC’s full press release for The Proposal, annotated with my train-of-thought feedback.

FROM THE CREATOR OF ‘THE BACHELOR’ FRANCHISE,
SAY ‘YES’ TO ‘THE PROPOSAL’ THIS SUMMER,
AN ALL-NEW DATING SERIES ON ABC

Love is in the air – and will soon hit the airwaves – when the all-new dating series, “The Proposal,” premieres this summer, on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand.¹ Hosted by former NFL quarterback and Season 5 Bachelor Jesse Palmer², each one-hour episode will feature 10 eligible daters competing in four pageant-style rounds to win the heart of a mystery suitor or “suitress,”³ whose identity is concealed from them.⁴

From “The Bachelor” creator Mike Fleiss, each hour of the 10-episode series will follow the male or female daters as they attempt to woo the mystery suitor with their words in a first impressions round; bare their souls in a beachwear round⁵; answer the mystery suitor’s most pressing romantic questions; and strive to receive a seal of approval from the mystery suitor’s most trusted family member in the final round.

After each phase, the daters who fail to connect with the mystery suitor are whittled down, leading to the dramatic and highly anticipated reveal, when the two remaining daters finally meet the mystery suitor for the first time and present a romantic proposal of their choice. Will there be a marriage proposal that can’t be refused? ⁶

“The Proposal” is produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted & Alternative Television. Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton, James Breen and Jason Ehrlich serve as executive producers.


1. My “Holy crap does this mean Bachelor in Paradise is canceled?” panic attack was mercifully short, thanks to this tweet from Mike Fleiss.

2. They’re trusting Jesse Palmer to host a reality dating show? The guy could barely get through his first night on The Bachelor without committing one of the show’s biggest blunders of all time: Giving the wrong girl a rose. Watch it here and writhe.

3. Stop trying to make “suitress” happen. It’s NEVER going to happen.

4. This is starting to sound uncomfortably close to Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?, the 2000 Fox reality special (also created by Mike Fleiss) which featured women competing in a pageant-style contest to win the heart (and ring) of a rich dude… who turned out to be neither rich nor a nice dude.

5. This will serve as your semi-annual reminder that in 2003, ABC allowed Lorenzo Lamas (!) to highlight contestants’ physical flaws with a laser pointer on their short-lived reality competition Are You Hot?: The Search for America’s Sexiest People.

6. Now this is interesting: A marriage proposal “that can’t be refused“??? Don’t tease what you can’t deliver, ABC. I don’t care if you have the contestants use emotional blackmail, monetary incentives, or the proverbial gun-to-a-cute-animal’s-head routine — I want to see someone compelled into marriage with a stranger, dammit!

So, rose lovers, are you tempted by this Proposal? Post your thoughts below.

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