3:08pm PT by Lacey Rose
Fox Orders 'Babes on a Bus' Dating Reality Show Pilot (Exclusive)
Fox is looking for love.
Committed to finding a hit in the dating genre, the American Idol network ordered a pilot for Endemol's tentatively titled Babes on a Bus. The effort, based on a popular format that originated in Norway, offers a new twist on the matchmaking premise.
The concept is predicated on the challenges of finding love, be it among friends, at a nightclub or even on the Internet. Babes features 10 single women who look all over the city for the man of their dreams -- and now they realize that they have to look elsewhere. In this case, the show will put them on a bus and send them from small town to small town around the country.
At each stop, the women will be introduced to the town's finest bachelors, who will be on hand to impress them with romantic scenery and delicious local food. They even will introduce the ladies to their family and friends. At the end of each week, the women choose whether to board the bus headed for the next town -- or stay.
In an interview earlier this spring, Fox reality chief Mike Darnell noted that he had been eager to get a dating show, arguing there was "a hole in the market." He continued, adding that the genre's relatability is its appeal: "There hasn't been a big one since The Bachelor, and there hasn't been a studio-based success since, my God, The Dating Game 40 years ago."
Endemol, the powerhouse studio behind such series as Fear Factor and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, is working with Fox on a layoff-themed series Does Someone Have to Go? as well. The company already has sold Babes in Denmark, Germany, Norway, France, the Netherlands and Slovenia.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose