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Modern Romance Gets Messy in PopTV's Hot Date

New, original programming from Pop TV gives real-life lovebirds the chance to explore relationships and their downfalls.

Originality in programming pays off with its capacity to transfix viewers and captivate an audience.

After all, how likely are you to be able to turn away from a young man who has just found a used pregnancy test in his spaghetti?

Pop TV has mastered the development of inventive and imaginative writing, editing and costume design in its current programming lineup by developing a series of original storylines that are resonating with today’s viewers. 

And those viewers are paying attention. The network has seen rousing success from its first original scripted show, Schitt’s Creek, a riches-to-ragsfamily comedy saga in its fourth season that has reigned as Pop TV’s most-watched original series. The show has seen double-digits viewer increases in all key demographics between each new season. 

Now, Pop TV is introducing a new original comedy program — Hot Date — a collection of 20-minute sketch comedies played by real-life couple, Em and Murph, and their various alter egos.  

What makes the program unique is, yes, the hidden treat in the Pomodoro sauce. But it’s also the fact that the fictional dating couple Em and Murph are played by the real-life married duo of Emily Axford and Brian Murphy who are bringing to life the sometimes sweet, sometimes nauseating, sometimes sidesplittingly funny world of dating.

After seeing wild success from early Hot Date sketches that aired on, Pop TV is now rolling out a full complement of episodes. The series debuts on Pop TV on Nov. 8.

In nearly every element of the show’s writing, editing, costume design and character development, PopTV has managed to combine a unique take on love and relationships. The program delves into relationship foibles that are both cringingly awkward and thoroughly relatable in today’s world of false Instagram friendships, disingenuous how-to beauty vlogger videos, questionable fashion trends and gotcha pregnancy tests.

Through original plot-centric vignettes and storylines, the funny real-life married couple at the center of Hot Date chronicle relationship dilemmas that may be more than a little familiar.

Take the headshaking story about a date who has so fully embraced an over-the-top contoured makeup trend that she looks less like a Snapchat beauty and “more like a dirty sand skeleton,” said her confused date.

Likewise, Pop TV’s original comedic content has shown appeal to both mid- and large-market cable operators through a lineup of edgy, critically acclaimed programs. The show is part of Pop TV’s slate of 400 hours of original programming — such as Schitt’s Creek and the private eye comedy Swedish Dicks — that bookends popular 90’s nostalgia on Pop TV like Beverly Hills 90201 and ER. Other Pop TV programs feature stars such as Keanu Reeves and Jane Seymour and are available on MVPD’s linear and VOD offerings.

As it prepares to debut, Hot Date and the rest of the Pop TV programming lineup is reminiscent of popular programs like Arrested Development or Schitt’s Creek — a raw and unexpected take on the mundane things that make life hilarious.

High-end original programming dominates PopTV’s current lineup.

“We can’t wait for our audience to watch Murph and Em’s hysterical take on the highs and lows of romance,” said Justin Rosenblatt, executive vice president of Original Programming and Development for Pop TV. 

As the centerpiece of the networks’ novel and creative original programming, millennial viewers of both sexes are paying attention.

“Through plot-centric vignettes and storylines, this funny real-life married couple chronicle relationship dilemmas many of us have faced,” Rosenblatt said. “Whether you’re married, divorced, single or celibate, no age range is off limits as this comedy covers the relatable stages of courtship from teen years and beyond.”  

The benefit of inventive programming, like Pop TV’s Hot Date series, is that it tackles issues relevant to what viewers are facing today. The program tackles that head on in the episodes “Contour Makeup Has Gone Too Far” and “How to Tell if You’re a Basic Bitch."