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They are presented for the entertainment of the viewers.
As the genre progressed, the format developed towards a reality-style show and more into a relationship show then simply finding a mate.
Once, someone divorced after appearing on The Newlywed Game got a "second chance" on The Dating Game.
Gimmicks were the lifeblood of all such shows, which drew criticisms for instigating disaffection that could not have been effected.
The couple who knew each other the best would win the game; sometimes others got divorced.
The first dating show to regularly incorporate bisexual contestants was MTV series A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, which included both male and female contestants vying for the affections of the show's star, internet star Tila Tequila, who is bisexual.
By the late 1990s and early 2000s, a new wave of dating shows began airing in U. syndication that were more sexually suggestive than their earlier counterparts, including shows such as Blind Date, Elimidate and The 5th Wheel, which often pushed boundaries of sexual content allowed on broadcast television.
The genre waned for a while but it was later revived by The New Dating Game and the UK version Blind Date, and the original shows were popular in reruns, unusual for any game show.
Cable television revived some interest in these shows during the 1980s and 1990s, and eventually new shows began to be made along the old concepts.
Some gay and straight romances have been sparked on the other reality game shows, suggesting that they too may really be "dating shows" in disguise.