BBC Three Controller Zai Bennett and Alan Tyler, Executive Editor Entertainment Commissioning, have commissioned Lion TV, the producers of Playing It Straight and the award-winning Horrible Histories, to make World Series Of Dating, an 8x30min series which combines reality and scripted comedy, starring American comedian and actor Rob Riggle.
World Series Of Dating sees dating turned into a competitive sport, with all of the sporting conventions that go with it - overblown graphics, music and scripted comedy analysis.
The dates are real (real people on real first dates) and it all happens in ‘The Date Zone’. Women cast especially for the role sit in ‘The Date Zone’ waiting for their first guy to appear. From the moment the single men walk into the zone the women can decide to buzz them out of the game for whatever reason they wish.
An Americanised sports referee (played by newcomer Bentley Kalu) then discusses the foul with the girl and decides whether the young man gets a warning or is sent packing (to be replaced by a rival). Also appearing throughout the show are two commentators who discuss and reflect on the action as it happens with super-slow mo replays and many other sporting conventions.
Rob Riggle who has appeared in films such as The Hangover, Step Brothers, The Other Guys and the upcoming 21 Jump Street, plus legendary comedy series The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live, will play the role of American correspondent Doyle MacManus, who is a legendary dater himself with many a story to tell.
British Actor and comedian, Tom Price from Torchwood and sketch shows Swinging and The Wrong Door will play the role of the UK correspondent James Chetwynd-Talbot, a nervous sports journalist, unlucky with the ladies and in his first commentary role.
A touchline reporter, played by comedienne Thaila Zucchi from Star Stories and Balls Of Steel will be on hand to grill the boys when they get buzzed out of the Date Zone.
At the end of the series, one man will officially be crowned as Britain’s Greatest Living Dater.
The series was developed by Lion Entertainment and commissioned by Controller of BBC Three, Zai Bennett and Alan Tyler Executive Editor Entertainment Commissioning. It will be series produced by Mark Lucey with Executive Producers Joff Powell, Simon Welton and Creative Director of Lion Scotland Andrew Snowball.
Alan Tyler said: “It’s dating, it’s sport, it’s comedy and we are delighted to have such a ‘prestigious’ tournament showcased on BBC Three. It’s a huge bonus to have Doyle MacManus and James Chetwynd Talbot on board to provide the kind of sensitive commentary that is a perfect companion to that tricky and unforgiving first date moment."
Joff and Simon said: “Working with a contemporary comedy icon like Rob Riggle is an absolute pleasure and we wrote the role with him in mind. Using a cross-genre combination, we have been able to utilise our reality and comedy experience to create a unique entity. BBC three is the perfect home to celebrate an awkward right of passage we all go through, with humour and fun.”
The series will be filmed at Pacific Quays in Glasgow and will air on BBC Three from March 2012.
It’s dating, it’s sport, it’s comedy and we are delighted to have such a ‘prestigious’ tournament showcased on BBC Three."