“I’m fascinated that this is really a scripted time,” Stanger says, alluding to “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce” and the upcoming “Odd Mom Out” on Bravo. “As long as there continues to be shows about the heart that feel real, viewers will want to watch.” And as for the future of “Millionaire Matchmaker? I like to stay current,” she says, adding that she loves chatting with millennials to see what they need to date effectively.
“I didn’t even know if we’d make it to season two,” she tells .
“This thing just blew up bigger than I ever anticipated.” Stanger attributes “Matchmaker’s” success to changes between seasons such as bringing on celebrity clientele (for the latest round of episodes) and moving the location from Los Angeles to the East Coast (Season 4), but more importantly, she says the real-life dating landscape has created a greater need for reality love shows during the series’ run.
“You had ‘Blind Date,’ and then it went away pretty much the year I came on, and then ‘The Bachelor’ obviously paved the way for us. But there weren’t any other shows on the air, and no one really took it seriously,” Stanger admits, adding that her show has now acquired famous fans like Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Hudson.
“Patti was the first to help people find love in their real lives without any gimmicks,” Shari Levine, exec vice president of current production, Bravo Media, tells .
“The fastest growing audience is couples,” she says. It’s not easy to launch a show these days.” So what is the future of reality dating TV? “Whether it’s boy meets girl, boy meets boy or girl meets girl, finding love and falling in love resonates with everyone.
“Millionaire Matchmaker,” Bravo’s flagship dating series now in its eighth season, hits its 100th episode on March 15.
Expert matchmaker and host Patti Stanger says the milestone is something she could have never imagined.
“Divorce rates were increasing and marriage was down,” the television personality says of the time when the show premiered.
However, despite the statistics, Stanger recalls the early days of series when Bravo’s Frances Berwick, now president, lifestyle networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, questioned if viewers would ever believe you could actually find love on TV.
“I think people believe in it more,” she says of finding love on camera. “There is everything for someone now, and if you’re not online or you’re not dating through a matchmaker, you’re basically a loser these days.
The tables have turned.” Stanger recognizes that it’s not just the new, changing world of dating that has lent to her show’s success — it’s also the TV landscape. They could have never done this 10 years ago.” Levine agrees that the market for dating shows is still out there.