The first gay version of these more realistic shows to receive mainstream attention was Boy Meets Boy, with a format similar to that of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
The show featured an unusual plot twist: eight of the men from the show's original dating pool were actually heterosexual men pretending to be homosexual; one important part of the plot was whether the gay contestant would be able to recognize the heterosexual men.
Attempts to revive the dating show in syndication first came in 2011, when Excused and Who Wants to Date a Comedian?
both debuted; this was followed in 2012 by NBCUniversal Television Distribution's sale of reruns of the Game Show Network series Baggage into syndication.
Some gay and straight romances have been sparked on the other reality game shows, suggesting that they too may really be "dating shows" in disguise.
In shows involving singles, there is a mismatch of numbers ensuring constant competition.
Variations featuring LGBT contestants began to appear on a few specialty channels.
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.