10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
NBC Orders Ellen DeGeneres-Produced Docuseries 'First Dates'
NBC is going on a first date with Ellen DeGeneres.
The network has handed out an eight-episode straight-to-series order for docuseries First Dates, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Based on the U.K. series of the same name, the hourlong series is described as an observational documentary series. Each episode of the series will offer an "authentic" look at a variety of real first dates — all happening over one night at the same restaurant. Viewers will watch as couples interact and determine if they're a good fit for one another.
Production on the series will begin in July in Chicago. A premiere date has not yet been determined.
The series hails from Shed Media and is exec produced by the company's Pam Healey and John Hesling. DeGeneres and her A Very Good Production topper Jeff Kleeman will also exec produce. The series is based on the U.K. format from Twenty Twenty, with the company's Tim Carver overseeing alongside Anthony Dominici.
The U.K. series has spun three seasons; season one consisted of six episodes, which grew to eight in its sophomore run and 12 in its third season, which is currently airing on Channel 4.
For DeGeneres, First Dates marks the TV host/producer's latest collaboration with NBC, joining scripted comedy One Big Happy. (The network's DeGeneres-produced Monica Potter comedy pilot was rolled off-cycle.) DeGeneres also exec produces ABC's hidden-camera prank show Repeat After Me as well as HGTV's Ellen's Design Challenge and her syndicated daily talk show.
For NBC, First Dates comes as the network is bulking up on unscripted offerings with recent orders including variety show I Can Do That, Bear Grylls' The Island, Neil Patrick Harris' Saturday Night Takeaway and STRONG.
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