“It capitalizes on everything that I love to do — digging for personal details is something that I started doing with the Housewives many years ago.” Funny enough, Cohen says when he was in charge of programming at the NBCUniversal cabler, he tried to nab the “Love Connection” format for the net with plans for someone else to host, since he was in the midst of his executive days.
Then years later, the format was pitched to him, but he couldn’t do it.
The executive producer likens the growing game show trend to a follow-the-leader mentality, recalling all of the networks that have tried to copy-cat “The Bachelor” with similar dating shows over the years, but have failed to find a hit. “Obviously there’s been a resurgence right now of game shows, but this is really not a game show,” he says, also categorizing “Love Connection” as a comedy show, such as Steve Harvey’s “Little Big Shots” at NBC.
“Right now, in both scripted and unscripted, everyone is so ratings-challenged that if there’s a brand to it, it helps bring people there,” he explains.
It’s before noon on a weekday in late March, and Andy Cohen walks out onto a massive set with possibly the most dramatic entrance ever. ” the voiceover shouts, as the TV personality is unveiled from giant bridge that lowers as he graces the lit-up stage.
Though the environment is familiar to Cohen with a live audience and a cushy couch for conversation with guests, this is not “Watch What Happens Live.” Rather, the Bravo personality is taping an episode of “Love Connection,” the revival of the dating game show, which premieres Thursday night on Fox.
“I don’t think that would have happened years ago,” Cohen admits.
“I’ve always wanted to host a game show and this is the perfect one for me because it mixes what I already do, which is ask really personal questions,” says the television-executive-turned-celebrity, who used to head development at Bravo.
One exercise that really helped was the list of people in my life that could be successful in my ideal relationship.
I've learned to consider my needs and to have strong boundaries.
(I was always such a push over and people pleaser) I am now in the first stages of what could potentially become a good healthy relationship with a good healthy man.
Plus, in addition to having a gay host, the contestants are much more diverse than the flagship show with interracial couples, gay couples, straight couples, young couples, and elderly couples.
“The cool thing is that we’re not making a big deal of it,” Cohen says of the casting.