Getting real (sort of) on the ocean

Published on May 18th, 2022

For boaters drawn toward reality television on the ocean, and not getting enough from the Bravo TV series Below Deck which follows a professional yacht crew and their charter clients on a multimillion-dollar yacht, your watch list just got longer.

Fondness for reality fare will launch The Real Love Boat, a sea-going dating show that’s described as a “romance adventure competition.” The series credits as its inspiration the popular and kitschy comedy-drama “The Love Boat” which aired from 1977-86 on ABC.

Perhaps leveraging a cruise ship industry hammered by the pandemic, a group of singles looking for love will be on a Princess Cruises ship in which destination dates, challenges and surprise singles will test the couples’ compatibility and chemistry.

Like the beloved original scripted series, the indispensable crew members including ‘captain’ and ‘cruise director’ will play pivotal roles in the matchmaking and navigation of the romantic (and sometimes turbulent) waters ahead. After almost a month at sea, only one winning couple will make it to the final port and take home a cash prize.

“Audiences really connected with the fun and escapism of The Love Boat,” said Mitch Graham, Senior VP Alternative Programming at CBS. “The iconic series embodied the many possibilities of people making new, meaningful connections. Reimagining it as a dating show with competition, adventure and romance makes The Real Love Boat an ideal fit for our schedule and viewers.”

That’s one small step for man, one possible belly-flop into the ocean for mankind.

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