First Run December 20, 1965 – July 6, 1973 (ABC Daytime) Second Run October 6, 1966 – January 17, 1970 (ABC primetime) Third Run September 10, 1973 – September 1974 (Syndication) Fourth Run September 4, 1978 – September 1980 (Syndication) Fifth Run September 15, 1986 – September 8, 1989 (Syndication) Sixth Run September 9, 1996 – September 1999 (Syndication) The Dating Game is an ABC television show that first aired on December 20, 1965 and was the first of many shows created and packaged by Chuck Barris from the 1960s through the 1980s.
Many celebrities played the game looking for love themselves.
The pre-stardom Farrah Fawcett, Suzanne Somers, Lindsay Wagner, Tom Selleck and Lee Majors appeared as "contestants" on the show in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Other contestants who appeared in their unknown or pre-stardom eras included The Carpenters, Jackson Bostwick, Joanna Cameron, Andy Kaufman (who went under the name Baji Kimran), Steve Martin, Burt Reynolds, John Ritter, Phil Hartman, Jennifer Granholm (Governor of Michigan from 2003–2010), the actor Jay North, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Tom Selleck (who went on the show twice but was not chosen as a "date" either time).
The future Federal Judge Alex Kozinski appeared on it and was selected as a "date". Some contestants appeared even after they were fairly well known, including a young Michael Jackson, Ron Howard, Maureen Mc Cormick, Barry Williams, Sally Field, Richard Dawson, and Paul Lynde.
One standard trademark was that at the end of each episode, the host and winning contestants would blow a kiss to the viewers.
This was a forerunner for a number of other shows done in the same style.The late 1970s version of the show was much more sexually explicit (and played for laughs) than other versions.The Dating Game was hosted by Jim Lange from its debut on ABC until the late 1970s syndicated series went off the air.The 1986 revival was originally hosted by comedienne Elaine Joyce, who was replaced by Jeff Mac Gregor after its first season.The 1996 series was originally hosted by Brad Sherwood, who was replaced by Chuck Woolery following a return to the series' classic format.Chuck Barris has claimed that the show was a cover for his CIA activities and was promoted by the company, according to his autobiography Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.