Marriages are put to the ultimate test in this new relationship format meets social experiment, as three middle-aged couples swap their spouses for partners 20 years younger.
“We love being able to develop formats based on topics that are in the zeitgeist,” reveals Katie Griffin, EVP & head of development at the show’s producer Kinetic Content. “One of the hottest growing trends in dating apps are age-gap relationships, yet there has never been a big global format that deals with them. When we thought about the fact that many of the ‘older’ singles on these dating apps have been married before, our wheels started turning.”
All the couples participating in the show are at a crossroad in their marriages and are looking to inject some youthful energy back into their lives – potentially with a new, much younger partner.
In separate houses, the three husbands live with six beautiful young single women, while their wives share a house with six hot young single men. Romantic connections are explored with dates and activities highlighting their age differences. After love triangles develop over the course of the first week, a ‘Pairing Ceremony’ takes place where six new mixed-age couples are formed – sending the six unselected singles home.
“Watching the older participants find the spark that comes by getting out of a rut and trying something new with a person you trust and you’re attracted to was fun to watch,” reveals Griffin. “From go kart racing, to aerial yoga, and horseback riding the older participants got to return to the fun they had at the start of their marriages.”
The younger participants are likewise treated to wine tastings, romantic dinners, and activities with a slower pace that allowed them to learn what it felt like to have mature, focused conversations. But the big drama awaits when the spouses have one-on-one meetings with their husband or wife’s new younger partner and family and friends visit to judge fledgling relationships.
Following a series of tense double dates with the spouses and their younger partners, all six couples eventually move into one house together. The stakes are immediately elevated at this point, says Griffin. “Any tensions that existed hit fever pitch. It’s one thing to know that your partner is exploring this other life with another partner, but it’s another thing to see it right in front of you— all day long.”
High emotions run the gamut from passionate arguments brought on by jealousy to tears as some participants fear their marriages are coming to an end and after an emotionally charged month, a high-stakes climax sees the married couples face the ultimate decision: recommit to their marriage – or part ways forever.
The right casting is critical for this format, which is due to debut on 15 December on Peacock in the US, with Griffin explaining: “The key to finding the right mix of participants who are also brave enough to be public about their struggles was about focusing on the power of the experiment. The series is a way for these couples to come to a resolution about their future and building a trust with them was a process that took time. But ultimately, it was time well spent to find the right group.”
Of course, given the emotions – and personal stakes – involved, Griffin adds that any required support following the production process is always offered and provided to participants, with access to independent mental health experts and coping skills training.
Meanwhile, as the format’s debut grows closer, Griffin believes that “viewers will be very satisfied by the varied nature of each couple’s journey – up until the dramatic choice at the end.”
Broadcaster: Peacock (US)
Producer: Kinetic Content
Distributor: Red Arrow Studios International
Synopsis: Couples turn back time to see if fading passions can be reignited by a new, younger flame in this ultimate test of whether the grass is better when it’s greener