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Zooey Deschanel's First TV Gig Since New Girl Ended Isn't What We Expected

Zooey Deschanel has made quite a few TV appearances since the ending of New Girl, from Carpool Karaoke to various talk show spots, but the actress had yet to announce a television project she'd take the lead on. That changed today when ABC announced a new-ish show that Deschanel will head up, though it may not be the type of project fans would expect. Deschanel will be teaming up with the Grammy-winning singer Michael Bolton for a unique twist on The Dating Game titled The Celebrity Dating Game.

On its surface, the series sounds like a run-of-the-mill dating competition, but with a few key differences. First, there's Zooey Deschanel, of course. Her role, as it were, will be to welcome a single celebrity looking for love, with three hidden eligible bachelors or bachelorettes to choose from. The twist here is that the potential suitors won't immediately know the identity of the celebrity unless they can figure things out from a set of clues, which is where Michael Bolton comes into it.

Those clues will be provided by Michael Bolton in song form, as he'll tease out who the celebrity is via hilarious parody songs. Some may remember that Bolton collaborated with The Lonely Island on the song "Jack Sparrow," so I can only imagine what he'll bring to his performances on The Celebrity Dating Game.

It's an interesting premise, to be sure, and unlike anything we've seen Zooey Deschanel attached to in the past. The Dating Game itself is a classic piece of ABC programming and the franchise has even brought in some celebrities to participate in the past, such as Michael Jackson, Ron Howard, and Brady Bunch heartthrob Barry Williams. It will be interesting to see what caliber of celebrities The Celebrity Dating Game will pull and what the unique twist of masking their identity will add to the entertainment value as an alternate to something like The Masked Singer.

This upcoming gig for Zooey Deschanel is her latest since Celebrity IOU, in which she appeared with her current boyfriend Jonathan Scott, of Property Brothers fame. So far, we haven't seen Deschanel announce any new scripted TV projects since the end of New Girl, which is surely something Jess' fans will be on the lookout for. It's unknown if her role in The Celebrity Dating Game would get in the way of any future commitments of that nature, though Deadline reported the show is currently only scheduled for eight episodes, so it doesn't sound like too brutal a schedule.

ABC bringing in The Celebrity Dating Game should be of little surprise, given the network's recent primetime offerings, which includes other game shows such as The Hustler, The Chase, and Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune, as well as revamps of Joker's Wild, To Tell the Truth and more. The Zooey Deschanel and Michael Bolton-hosted series should fall right in line with those fun shows, and could easily find an audience if paired with any of the above.

A release date for The Celebrity Dating Game isn't currently known, but for more on Zooey Deschanel, read up on how she spent her latest Valentine's Day with boyfriend Jonathan Scott here.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.