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Dating Shows Get Dumped

After months of speculation, the final two first-run reality dating shows have officially been jilted by former format lovers.

NBC Universal cancelled Blind Date, while Telepictures’ Elimidate—whose fate appeared to have been sealed earlier this year when its executive producer was shifted to Tyra Banks (B&C, April 9)—was also pink-slipped.

Blind Date, the longest-running of the programs, now in its seventh season, will live on in reruns, with NBC U clearing them in more than 90% of the U.S. No word yet on whether Telepictures will follow suit with leftovers from its four-year-old show.

Both strips of the once-popular genre, which peaked in popularity early this decade, have been on a steady ratings decline over the past several years and relegated by stations to lesser-viewed time periods.  They have been tracking at a 1.1 household rating and a 0.7 in their key 18-34 demographic this season.

Other syndicated programs in the genre also fell by the wayside, including NBC U’s Blind Date companion, The Fifth Wheel, as studios shifted their production budgets to primetime entrants. Those included Telepictures’ ABC series The Bachelor, which in 2005-06 experienced a ratings rebound and won a spot on next season’s schedule.