Trailer: The Bachelor 2016
The contestants in the latest cycle of The Bachelor Australia have been revealed by Channel Ten.
July 1, 2016
The dating show The Bachelor no longer has the monopoly on TV for happy-ever-afters, with news a gay-themed twist on the genre in the works.
The US cable channel Logo has commissioned a new series titled Finding Prince Charming.
The series will feature a cast of gay men “competing to win the heart” of one man who the network is billing as “one of the nation’s most eligible gay heartthrobs”.
Former NSYNC member Lance Bass is to host Finding Prince Charming. Photo: Getty Images
Though the channel has not identified the man in question officially, the celebrity news website TMZ has named him as Atlanta-based interior designer Robert Sepulveda Jr.
In the style established by other shows in the genre, such as The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, the 13 suitors in Finding Prince Charming will live together in a mansion.
The last man standing will win Sepulveda’s commitment “to an exclusive relationship.”
The short-lived Seven show Playing It Straight, which featured a number of suitors, some gay, some straight.
The series will be hosted by former NSYNC member Lance Bass.
“Logo has a long history of showcasing LGBTQ-focused stories with memorable characters that transcend pop culture,” the channel’s chief Pamela Post said.
“Finding Prince Charming will take viewers on a whirlwind journey through modern love and relationships in a way that only Logo can do.”
Though the series is being billed as a “a first-of-its-kind dating series”, US television does have a somewhat dubious record when it comes to gay dating shows.
In 2003 the reality channel Bravo launched a series titled Boy Meets Boy, in which a hopeful single named James Getzlaff was sent on a series of dates looking for Mr Right.
The twist in that tale was that not all of Getzlaff’s suitors were gay, some were just money-hungry straight guys.
Getzlaff even visited Australia to launch the series, which lasted only fractionally longer than his holiday.
A year later the US network Fox, known for adding a bit of spit and polish to even the most creatively bankrupt ideas, tried again with Seriously, Dude, I’m Gay.
No, really, that was the title.
In that series two straight guys tried to convince their friends they were gay with a $US50,000 ($65,716) prize at stake.
Seriously, Dude, I’m Gay was described as “an exercise in systematic humiliation” and Fox cancelled the series before it had even launched.
But that didn’t stop them trying with another format, Playing It Straight, the same year.
In this twist on an already exhausting concept, a single woman was introduced to 14 men in the style of The Bachelor, some gay, some straight.
The denouement this time: if she picked a straight guy, they split the show’s million-dollar payday, but if she picked a gay guy, he kept the whole million to himself.
That format was so successful it was imported by Australia, the UK and the Netherlands.
The Australian version aired on Seven but only lasted one season.
And just when you thought Seriously, Dude, I’m Gay couldn’t be topped, the Dutch version was renamed Herken De Homo, which translates as “Find the Gay One”.
Then there was Gay, Straight or Taken? a reality show from Lifetime – a channel described once on The Simpsons as “television for idiots” – in which a female contestant had to choose whether the male contestants were gay, straight or already in a relationship.
Logo has not announced any international sales for either the Finding Prince Charming series or the format.
It will air in the US later this year.