The Watchman: Fox Premieres Mother of All Dating Shows; Nat Geo Show Has Bark, and Bite

Labor of Love debuts on Fox May 21. The unscripted show features Kristy Katzmann, a career woman who is ready to be a mother. Labor has 15 “sexy and sophisticated” guys competing to be the father, Fox said.

Kristin Davis of Sex and the City hosts. Executive producer Anne Walls called Labor “a deeper exploration into the journey of parenthood.”

Labor of Love

Labor of Love

The producers aimed to come up with an entertaining show that also informs women of the options they have regarding parenthood. “Women face a lot of choices in their mid-to-late 30s and early 40s,” executive producer Laurie Girion said.

Katzmann made an immediate impression on the producers in their talent search. “She’s so intelligent and articulate and beautiful,” Girion said. “She’s also open and willing to share.”

After eight weeks of challenges and dates, Katzmann will decide if she’s found the right partner, or go it alone.

The producers feel the show has a bit more substance than other find-a-mate series. “It gives the viewer an opportunity to think about all the different possibilities of parenting,” said Spike Van Briesen, executive producer.

Barkskins begins on Nat Geo May 25. It’s a peculiar scripted series adapted from a novel by Annie Proulx. “It’s a bear of a book, 700 pages, hundreds of years,” said Elwood Reid, exec producer/showrunner. “It’s a tricky thing to wrangle.”

Reid was drawn to it because Proulx “is an idol of mine” and because the subject matter is so out there. Set in what was called New France in Canada, the Catholic church has sent Jesuit priests to convert the indigenous people, and France sent indentured servants to populate its territory, along with young women to find husbands.

“It’s the first and last show set in 1690s Canada,” he said. “We bring together a disparate group of characters, drop a few bodies and see what happens.”

David Thewlis and Marcia Gay Harden are in the cast. Reid calls it “a rip-roaring good tale.” 

HBO Max Gets Craft-y

And May 27, Craftopia debuts on HBO Max. Lauren Riihimaki, known on YouTube as LaurDIY, hosts the kids crafting competition show.



Producing a TV show is a taller order than making something for YouTube, she said. “There are so many more moving parts,” Riihimaki said. “So much more goes into a show like Craftopia.

The contestants are between the ages of 9 and 15. Riihimaki is blown away by their skills, whether it’s crochet, origami or baking. “It’s pretty incredible to see what these kids are doing,” she said.

Riihimaki was a pretty crafty kid in her time, but not like these kids. “Oh my gosh, nothing at this level!” she said. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.