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Show of the week: Are You the One?

A glut of new dating formats launched at MIPTV, and at first glance Are You the One? looks like another to add to the list. Not so, according to Caroline Beaton, senior VP, international programme sales, Viacom International Media Networks. “It’s not a dating show, it’s a social experiment about love,” she says. “I don’t know how many more dating shows the world needs!”

VIMN is launching the finished show and format internationally at MIPTV. Produced by US indie Lighthearted Entertainment, it launched on Viacom’s MTV in the US, where it opened to 1.4 million viewers.

In the show, described by The Huffington Post as ‘the anti-Bachelor’, ten single men and ten single women live together on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, with the task of finding perfect matches. Ten ideal pairs have been identified in advance, and the 20 contestants are aided in their quest by a team of matchmakers and psychologists as well as family, friends and exes.

At the end of a week together the contestants pair off, and if they match the pairs predetermined by a deep-profiling exercise, the group collectively shares a US$1 million prize.

“It’s a very MTV show but also hits a broader, older demo than the traditional MTV reality and gameshows,” says Beaton, adding that although the contestants live together, it needn’t be an expensive and complex show to make.

“It’s not as complex a set-up as a Big Brother; it’s more like The Real World, where we see the house and parts are filmed but it’s not around the clock. Also, ours is in Hawaii but it needn’t be made there.”