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17 Forgotten Dating Shows

It has now been 20 years since the premiere of Singled Out, MTV's popular dating show featuring Chris Hardwick and Jenny McCarthy (then Chris Hardwick and Carmen Electra). Though, compared to 1995, it has never been easier to meet someone—at least technically speaking—dating will always be a messy art that makes everybody look like their dumbest selves. Which is why dating “reality” shows have continued to evolve and devolve through the years.

Though there have been many memorable dating shows, like current hits The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, far more romance-minded series have been left to die alone, never finding love with audiences. Here are 17 of the latter.

1. MATCHMAKER (1987-1988)

Popular Los Angeles DJ Dave Hull hosted the syndicated game show, and held most of the power. Without looking at them, Hull gradually eliminated three of the six contestants based on the answers to his questions. Then Hull would choose between the two men or women left for the “romantic lead” he had designated earlier. The new couple’s compatibility was then determined based on a list of likes and dislikes they listed before the show. The more their answers matched, the more expensive their grand prize of a trip would be.

2. STUDS (1991-1993)

Averaging three million viewers a night, Studs was a brief phenomenon when it was syndicated on Fox affiliates. Two male contestants went on one-on-one dates with each of the three female contestants before taping. On the show, each man would try to guess which female contestant said one of the three answers (almost always a double entendre) to host Mark DeCarlo’s questions about the date. In the end, if the men could guess which woman chose him as the “stud” over the other, they won another date. The sexually suggestive talk from the women was scripted, and some male contestants were upset that the show made it seem like sex was had on every date, when that wasn’t the case.

3. PERSONALS (1991-1992)

The host of this late night CBS dating show was Michael Berger, described as “part Pat Sajak, part Howard Stern.” Some of the contestants were people who had written personal ads in Los Angeles newspapers. Three men or women competed to best guess the answers the main contestant went with in the same dual-choice questions they were given. In the bonus round known as the “Love Thermometer,” the new couple would face off against the previous show’s couple to win a romantic trip.

4. NIGHT GAMES (1991-1992)

Night Games was the first of two CBS late-night companion shows to Personals hosted by comedian Jeff Marder. Three male and female contestants answered questions in “Honesty” and “Sensuality” rounds. It was considered a rip-off of the raunchy Studs before it was even screened by critics.

5. A PERFECT SCORE (1992)

A Perfect Score was the second of Marder's late-night shows. In this one (which replaced Night Games), three close friends of one contestant attempted to find their friend the ideal date by questioning three candidates. Despite the producers' promise that it wasn’t scripted, some of the 110 CBS affiliates that ran the show put it on at 2 a.m. or later, which was hardly an ideal timeslot. Unsurprisingly, A Perfect Score didn’t last.

6. STREET MATCH (1993)

Airing on ABC in the summer of 1993 after repeats of The Wonder Years, soap opera star Ricky Paull Goldin “made Chuck Woolery look like a class act” as he sought out men and women on the street and asked them to participate on the show. If they agreed, the contestant pointed out an attractive stranger on the street and Goldin would go to work on setting the two of them up. If the second stranger agreed, the two would go on a date, which would be shot and edited in the newly discovered MTV Real World Dutch angle, jump cut way.

7. BZZZ! (1996-1997)

Annie Wood hosted the show where two sets of contestants considered four possible dates. Three of the four dates got “bzzzed” if they gave a “wrong” answer to one of the contestants' questions. The two potential date groups then faced off in a “simpatico” round for a “dream date” package.

8. THE BLAME GAME (1998-2001)

“Judge” Chris Reed would listen to two former lovers and decide who was to blame for their break-up, with help from “counselors” Jason Winer (an executive producer on Modern Family and creator of 1600 Penn) and Kara Jane McNamara. The studio audience would determine who was the guilty party after each round. Final arguments featured the litigants karaokeing to contemporary hits (the show aired on MTV). The person voted not to be the one at fault won a vacation, while the loser had his or her picture added to the “Do Not Date This Blame Game Loser” section of the show’s website and/or, for a time, in a section of Entertainment Weekly, unless he or she made a convincing apology to the winner.

9. CHAINS OF LOVE (2001)

This Madison Michelle-hosted show that made Temptation Island look like Washington Week in Review" lasted just six episodes on UPN. Four men or women were chained to one member of the opposite sex, and each day one of the suitors would be released and given whatever amount of the $10,000 the star of the episode decided to hand over. After four days, the star could decide to split the leftover money with the contestant left standing and see him or her again, or pocket all the cash. If the previously chained contestant didn’t develop Stockholm Syndrome, he or she had the option of walking away with all of the cash.

10. RENDEZ-VIEW (2001-2002)

Co-hosted by Greg Proops and Ellen Ladowsky, this syndicated show featured two guests per episode—usually an actor and a comedian—who would watch a videotaped date along with the hosts and humorously critique them.

11. SHIPMATES (2001-2003)

Shipmates is the other Chris Hardwick-hosted dating show. Participants went on a blind date on a Carnival Cruise ship for three days. Hardwick claimed that he turned the show down six times before agreeing to host, under the condition that he be allowed to write his own material.

12. THE 5TH WHEEL (2001-2004)

Aisha Tyler hosted the first season of the syndicated series before leaving to take more movie offers, and to guest star on Friends in its final two seasons. On the show, two men and two women went on a group date before a fifth man or woman would entertainingly complicate matters.

13. TAILDATERS (2002-2003)

The MTV show had the best friends of two daters follow the date from a van, providing commentary and at times “paging” advice to their buds.

14. MR. PERSONALITY (2003)

Running for five episodes in 2003 on Fox, host Monica Lewinsky helped contestant Hayley Arp find love with one of 20 suitors, all of whom wore masks the entire time. The one allowed exception was in the “Dark Room,” where Arp was able to touch a contestant’s face.

15. MARRIED BY AMERICA (2003)

Hosted by Los Angeles DJ Sean Valentine, Married By America was a six-episode series, also on Fox in 2003. Five single people agreed to get engaged to total strangers chosen by the viewing audience. Gradually relationship experts eliminated three of the couples, and the two “winning” couples decided to not get married after all. Fox’s Raleigh-Durham affiliate refused to air the series after its premiere, stating that it “demeans and exploits the institution of marriage.”

16. THE LITTLEST GROOM (2004)

In two episodes that ran on Fox in 2004, a 4’5” bachelor chose between a group of women of similar height, before the twist of adding 12 “average” sized female contestants to the contest really shook things up (“an average sized twist,” the voiceover intoned). Salesman Glen Foster chose 4’3” Mina Winkler, and said he didn’t feel exploited.

17. SCORE (2005)

In a four-week run, singer-songwriter Ashlee Simpson ex Ryan Cabrera hosted Score on MTV. Cabrera’s band and guest stars mentored two contestants and helped them each write a song to win the heart of a “hottie.” The winner was whomever said hottie decided wrote and performed the better song.

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8 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 3
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[Warning: There are lots of Stranger Things season two spoilers ahead.]

Stranger Things season two is in the books, and like we all hoped, it turned out to be a worthy follow-up to an addictive debut season. Now, though, we’re left with plenty of questions, mysteries, and theories to chew on as the wait for a third season begins. But for everything we don’t know about what the next year of Stranger Things will bring us (such as an actual release date), there are more than enough things we do know to keep those fan theories coming well into 2018. While the show hasn't been officially greenlit for a third season by Netflix yet, new details have already begun to trickle out. Here’s everything we know about Stranger Things season three so far.

1. THERE WILL BE ANOTHER TIME JUMP.

The third season of Stranger Things won’t pick up right where the second one left off. Like the show experienced between the first two seasons, there will be a time jump between seasons two and three as well. The reason is simple: the child actors are all growing up, and instead of having the kids look noticeably older without explanation for year three, the Duffer Brothers told The Hollywood Reporter:

“Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They're going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can't start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. But what I like is that it makes you evolve the show. It forces the show to evolve and change, because the kids are changing.”

2. THE IDEA IS TO BE SMALLER IN SCALE.

If the series’s second season was about expanding the Stranger Things mythology, the third season won't go bigger just for the sake of it, with the brothers even going so far as to say that it will be a more intimate story.

“It’s not necessarily going to be bigger in scale,” Matt Duffer said in an interview with IndieWire. “What I am really excited about is giving these characters an interesting journey to go on.”

Ross Duffer did stress, though, that as of early November, season three is basically “… Matt and me working with some writers and figuring out where it’s going to go.”

3. THE MIND FLAYER WILL BE BACK.

The second season ended on a bit of a foreboding note when it was revealed that the Mind Flayer was still in the Upside Down and was seen looming over the Hawkins school as the winter dance was going on. Though we know there will be a time jump at the start of next season, it’s clear that the monster will still have a big presence on the show.

Executive producer Dan Cohen told TV Guide: "There were other ways we could have ended beyond that, but I think that was a very strong, lyrical ending, and it really lets us decide to focus where we ultimately are going to want to go as we dive into Season 3."

What does the Mind Flayer’s presence mean for the new crop of episodes? Well, there will be plenty of fan theories to ponder between now and the season three premiere (whenever that may be).

4. PLENTY OF LEFTOVER SEASON TWO STORYLINES WILL BE IN SEASON THREE.

The Duffer Brothers had a lot of material for the latest season of the show—probably a bit too much. Talking to Vulture, Matt Duffer detailed a few details and plot points that had to be pushed to season three:

"Billy was supposed to have a bigger role. We ended up having so many characters it ended up, in a way, more teed up for season three than anything. There was a whole teen supernatural story line that just got booted because it was just too cluttered, you know? A lot of that’s just getting kicked into season three."

The good news is that he also told the site that this wealth of cut material could make the writing process for the third season much quicker.

5. THERE WILL BE MORE ERICA.

Stranger Things already had a roster of fan-favorite characters heading into season two, but newcomer Erica, Lucas’s little sister, may have overshadowed them all. Played by 11-year-old Priah Ferguson, Erica is equal parts expressive, snarky, and charismatic. And the Duffer Brothers couldn’t agree more, saying that there will be much more Erica next season.

“There will definitely be more Erica in Season 3,” Ross Duffer told Yahoo!. “That is the fun thing about the show—you discover stuff as you’re filming. We were able to integrate more of her in, but not as much you want because the story [was] already going. ‘We got to use more Erica’—that was one of the first things we said in the writers’ room.”

“I thought she’s very GIF-able, if that’s a word,” Matt Duffer added. “She was great.”

6. EXPECT KALI TO RETURN.

The season two episode “The Lost Sister” was a bit of an outlier for the series. It’s a standalone episode that focuses solely on the character Eleven, leaving the central plot and main cast of Hawkins behind. As well-received as Stranger Things season two was, this episode was a near-unanimous miss among fans and critics.

The episode did, however, introduce us to the character of Kali (Linnea Berthelsen), who has the ability to manipulate people’s minds with illusions she creates. Despite the reaction, the Duffers felt the episode was vital to Eleven’s development, and that Kali won’t be forgotten moving forward.

“It feels weird to me that we wouldn’t solve [Kali’s] storyline. I would say chances are very high she comes back,” Matt Duffer said at the Vulture Festival.

7. OTHER "NUMBERS" MIGHT SHOW UP.

We're already well acquainted with Eleven, and season two introduced us to Eight (a.k.a. Kali), and executive producer Shawn Levy heavily hinted to E! that there are probably more Hawkins Laboratory experiments on the horizon.

"I think we've clearly implied there are other numbers, and I can't imagine that the world will only ever know Eleven and Eight," Levy said.

8. THERE MIGHT NOT BE MANY SEASONS LEFT.

Don’t be in too much of a rush to find out everything about the next season of Stranger Things; there might not be many more left. The Duffer Brothers have said in the past that the plan is to do four seasons and end it. However, Levy gave fans a glimmer of hope that things may go on a little while longer—just by a bit, though.

“Hearts were heard breaking in Netflix headquarters when the Brothers made four seasons sound like an official end, and I was suddenly getting phone calls from our actors’ agents,” Levy told Entertainment Weekly. “The truth is we’re definitely going four seasons and there’s very much the possibility of a fifth. Beyond that, it becomes I think very unlikely.”

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8 Tricks to Help Your Cat and Dog to Get Along
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When people aren’t debating whether cats or dogs are more intelligent, they’re equating them as mortal foes. That’s a stereotype that both cat expert Jackson Galaxy, host of the Animal Planet show My Cat From Hell, and certified dog trainer Zoe Sandor want to break.

Typically, cats are aloof and easily startled, while dogs are gregarious and territorial. This doesn't mean, however, that they can't share the same space—they're just going to need your help. “If cats and dogs are brought up together in a positive, loving, encouraging environment, they’re going to be friends,” Galaxy tells Mental Floss. “Or at the very least, they’ll tolerate each other.”

The duo has teamed up to host a new Animal Planet series, Cat vs. Dog, which airs on Saturdays at 10 p.m. The show chronicles their efforts to help pet owners establish long-lasting peace—if not perfect harmony—among cats and dogs. (Yes, it’s possible.) Gleaned from both TV and off-camera experiences, here are eight tips Galaxy and Sandor say will help improve household relations between Fido and Fluffy.

1. TAKE PERSONALITY—NOT BREED—INTO ACCOUNT.

Contrary to popular belief, certain breeds of cats and dogs don't typically get along better than others. According to Galaxy and Sandor, it’s more important to take their personalities and energy levels into account. If a dog is aggressive and territorial, it won’t be a good fit in a household with a skittish cat. In contrast, an aging dog would hate sharing his space with a rambunctious kitten.

If two animals don’t end up being a personality match, have a backup plan, or consider setting up a household arrangement that keeps them separated for the long term. And if you’re adopting a pet, do your homework and ask its previous owners or shelter if it’s lived with other animals before, or gets along with them.

2. TRAIN YOUR DOG.

To set your dog up for success with cats, teach it to control its impulses, Sandor says. Does it leap across the kitchen when someone drops a cookie, or go on high alert when it sees a squeaky toy? If so, it probably won’t be great with cats right off the bat, since it will likely jump up whenever it spots a feline.

Hold off Fido's face time with Fluffy until the former is trained to stay put. And even then, keep a leash handy during the first several cat-dog meetings.

3. GIVE A CAT ITS OWN TERRITORY BEFORE IT MEETS A DOG.

Cats need a protected space—a “base camp” of sorts—that’s just theirs, Galaxy says. Make this refuge off-limits to the dog, but create safe spaces around the house, too. This way, the cat can confidently navigate shared territory without trouble from its canine sibling.

Since cats are natural climbers, Galaxy recommends taking advantage of your home’s vertical space. Buy tall cat trees, install shelves, or place a cat bed atop a bookcase. This allows your cat to observe the dog from a safe distance, or cross a room without touching the floor.

And while you’re at it, keep dogs away from the litter box. Cats should feel safe while doing their business, plus dogs sometimes (ew) like to snack on cat feces, a bad habit that can cause your pooch to contract intestinal parasites. These worms can cause a slew of health problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and anemia.

Baby gates work in a pinch, but since some dogs are escape artists, prepare for worst-case scenarios by keeping the litter box uncovered and in an open space. That way, the cat won’t be cornered and trapped mid-squat.

4. EXERCISE YOUR DOG'S BODY AND MIND.

“People exercise their dogs probably 20 percent of what they should really be doing,” Sandor says. “It’s really important that their energy is released somewhere else so that they have the ability to slow down their brains and really control themselves when they’re around kitties.”

Dogs also need lots of stimulation. Receiving it in a controlled manner makes them less likely to satisfy it by, say, chasing a cat. For this, Sandor recommends toys, herding-type activities, lure coursing, and high-intensity trick training.

“Instead of just taking a walk, stop and do a sit five times on every block,” she says. “And do direction changes three times on every block, or speed changes two times. It’s about unleashing their herding instincts and prey drive in an appropriate way.”

If you don’t have time for any of these activities, Zoe recommends hiring a dog walker, or enrolling in doggy daycare.

5. LET CATS AND DOGS FOLLOW THEIR NOSES.

In Galaxy's new book, Total Cat Mojo, he says it’s a smart idea to let cats and dogs sniff each other’s bedding and toys before a face-to-face introduction. This way, they can satisfy their curiosity and avoid potential turf battles.

6. PLAN THE FIRST CAT/DOG MEETING CAREFULLY.

Just like humans, cats and dogs have just one good chance to make a great first impression. Luckily, they both love food, which might ultimately help them love each other.

Schedule the first cat-dog meeting during mealtime, but keep the dog on a leash and both animals on opposite sides of a closed door. They won’t see each other, but they will smell each other while chowing down on their respective foods. They’ll begin to associate this smell with food, thus “making it a good thing,” Galaxy says.

Do this every mealtime for several weeks, before slowly introducing visual simulation. Continue feeding the cat and dog separately, but on either side of a dog gate or screen, before finally removing it all together. By this point, “they’re eating side-by-side, pretty much ignoring each other,” Galaxy says. For safety’s sake, continue keeping the dog on a leash until you’re confident it’s safe to take it off (and even then, exercise caution).

7. KEEP THEIR FOOD AND TOYS SEPARATE.

After you've successfully ingratiated the cat and dog using feeding exercises, keep their food bowls separate. “A cat will walk up to the dog bowl—either while the dog’s eating, or in the vicinity—and try to eat out of it,” Galaxy says. “The dog just goes to town on them. You can’t assume that your dog isn’t food-protective or resource-protective.”

To prevent these disastrous mealtime encounters, schedule regular mealtimes for your pets (no free feeding!) and place the bowls in separate areas of the house, or the cat’s dish up on a table or another high spot.

Also, keep a close eye on the cat’s toys—competition over toys can also prompt fighting. “Dogs tend to get really into catnip,” Galaxy says. “My dog loves catnip a whole lot more than my cats do.”

8. CONSIDER RAISING A DOG AND CAT TOGETHER (IF YOU CAN).

Socializing these animals at a young age can be easier than introducing them as adults—pups are easily trainable “sponges” that soak up new information and situations, Sandor says. Plus, dogs are less confident and smaller at this stage in life, allowing the cat to “assume its rightful position at the top of the hierarchy,” she adds.

Remain watchful, though, to ensure everything goes smoothly—especially when the dog hits its rambunctious “teenage” stage before becoming a full-grown dog.

Cat vs. Dog Airs on Saturdays at 10 p.m. on Animal Planet

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