February 18, 2014 7:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
VH1 Orders 'Naked Dating' Series (Exclusive)
VH1 is stripping down for romance.
The music-themed cable network has picked up to series Naked Dating, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The 10-episode dating series hails from Lighthearted Entertainment, the independently owned production company behind unscripted series including Extreme Makeover, The Moment of Truth, Next, 72 Hours and Are You the One?
Each episode will feature a man and a woman as they each date two different -- and naked -- suitors. The series will explore the art of romance -- free of preconceived notions, stereotypes and, yes, clothing. At the end of every hourlong episode, the two romance-seekers analyze what they've learned from their dates -- and themselves -- before deciding whether to move forward with their potential love matches.
A yet-to-be-named host will oversee the series, which will be filmed in a remote exotic locale. The focus will be on examining the honest self and the surprising results that come with that. VH1 says the series will be edited "according to network standards."
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"At first, this seems like a show that’s all about a noisy, provocative hook -- and we embrace that,” said Susan Levison, executive vp original programming and production at VH1. “But when you go deeper, it’s really about something that we can all relate to -- the search for true love. It’s also a series with heart and masterful storytelling -- both earmarks of an engaging, must-watch show.”
Naked Dating (working title) was created and produced by Lighthearted Entertainment, with company president Howard Schultz on board to exec produce alongside exec vp Rob LaPlante and vp development Jeff Spangler. VH1's Levison, Jill Holmes, Kristen Kelly and Fernando Mills will oversee for the network.
"We created this show based on marrying a provocative idea with a back to basics philosophy. With all the dating options in the world, what happens if you take one man and woman and strip them of all their pretenses?" Schultz said. "VH1 immediately understood our vision and is a fantastic partner on a show that uses a social experiment to provide a fun and entertaining look into how men and women interact when they bare all."
A premiere date for Naked Dating has not yet been announced.
The series marks the latest push into the naked unscripted space. Discovery last year greenlighted two survival series, Naked Castaway and Naked and Afraid; Syfy explores the business and art of body painting with Naked Vegas; and TLC has Buying Naked, a real estate series featuring nudist couples in search of a clothing-optional home, among other series in the works.
Naked Dating also comes four years after ABC explored a similar concept with Dating in the Dark, in which six contestants could only get to know each other in a dark room free of judgment and preconceived ideas. That series, based on a Dutch format, lasted only one season.