TV Article

Coming of 'Age'

The evolution of dating shows -- How did we get to ''Age of Love''?

The dating show is a constantly evolving creature. The latest variation on the species: NBC's Age of Love (premiering June 18), which adds a creepy ''cougars vs. kittens'' twist. How did we get here? Our hand flowchart explains.

THE DATING GAME (1965)
A young man or woman grilled three hopefuls before picking one for a show-sponsored first date. As host Jim Lange would say, Mwwwah!

THE BACHELOR (2002)
The Dating Game on steroids: 25 hotties live together — and are jettisoned one at a time by a handsome man on a ''journey.''

AVERAGE JOE (2003)
It's Bachelorette with a twist: A gorgeous woman had to choose between nerds and studs. Shocker: She usually chose the studs.

JOE MILLIONAIRE (2003)
A ripped, blue collar hunk posed as a rich heir, while a group of gold-digging catfighters desperately tried to win his love.

AGE OF LOVE (2007)
The Bachelor: Ageism Edition. The women after tennis ace Mark Philippoussis, 30, range from 21...to (horrors!) 40-plus.

Originally posted Jun 15, 2007 Published in issue #940 Jun 22, 2007 Order article reprints