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The format of Barris's first dating show, The Dating Game, which commenced in 1965, put an unmarried man behind a screen to ask questions of three women who are potential mates, or one woman who asked questions of three men.

The person behind the screen could hear their answers and voices but not see them during the gameplay, although the audience could see the contestants.

Dating game shows are television game shows that incorporate a dating system in the form of a game with clear rules.

Human matchmaking is involved only in selecting the game's contestants, who are usually selected more for the amusement value than any concern for their happiness or compatibility.

Other shows focused on the conventional blind date, where two people were set up and then captured on video, sometimes with comments or subtitles that made fun of their dating behaviour.

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.

In shows involving couples, there is a substantial incentive to break up any of the existing relationships.

In shows involving singles, there is a mismatch of numbers ensuring constant competition.

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