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I think all of us are very aware of at least two things when it comes to reality TV. One, dating shows are extremely popular, and two, America's Got Talent is one of the kings of reality television competitions. NBC could have set up any number of AGT spinoffs for its streaming service, Peacock, but, instead, it seems that the powers that be would like to give fans a taste of that sweet, sweet Bridgerton fever, and have now ordered a Bridgerton-esque dating show.
Now, another thing of which TV fans are quite well aware, is that Bridgerton is a worldwide phenomenon. The romance quickly became the most watched show on Netflix, leading, I'm sure, to several conversations among television executives about how to capture some of those Regency-era loving eyeballs for themselves. While NBC could have easily turned one of its hottest shows, the long-running America's Got Talent, into a whole series of streaming spinoffs, TV Line reports that Peacock is now working on a dating show, titled Pride & Prejudice: An Experiment in Romance, which will deliver a very different kind of reality.
Pride & Prejudice: An Experiment in Romance, which is obviously titled in a nod to the 1813 romantic classic by Jane Austen, will be a Regency-style dating show that follows one woman's journey to find her own duke, or, you know, the next best thing. Here's what the official description for the show says:
Transported to a Regency-style England, a group of eligible hopeful suitors will have to win the heart of our heroine, and her court. Housed in a castle on the countryside, set on a beautiful backdrop of rolling hills, the heroine and suitors will experience that with which dreams are made of. From carriage rides and boat rides on the lake to archery and handwritten letters to communicate, they will be immersed in a time-traveling quest for love. In the end, our heroine and her suitors will discover if the ultimate romantic experience will find them true love.
Well, way to one-up The Bachelorette in these Bridgerton-crazed times, right? As you may have noticed, nothing in the description mentions there being any actual dukes involved, and I can imagine that there are probably fewer of those around in real life now than there were during the actual Regency period in old-England times, anyway. But, this new show will set one (hopefully) lucky lady up with a group of eligible men to choose from in a very picturesque setting, and with many of the trappings of Regency romances at their disposal, to see if it aids them on their journey to finding true love.
I mean, sure, we could have had a Terry Crews-hosted series called AGT: Terry's Muscleman Mania Tournament, or something, but this is far more intriguing, and leads to so many questions.
While I can only assume that Pride & Prejudice: An Experiment in Romance will abandon the troubling aspects of Regency England (institutionalized racism, women having basically no rights and not even being free to go out without a chaperone, lest they be seen as "ruined") to give viewers the fluffy romantic stuff we'd enjoy in a dating show. But, among all of the handwritten notes and carriage rides, there are still several things to learn about this dating "experiment."
For instance, will the lady and her suitors be dressed in period clothing? And, how many suitors will be on one season? Will this be Bachelorette-style, where she has two dozen (or more) men to choose from? Or will more of the selection process be done prior to the show, by producers?
Another a big question I have is who will comprise the heroine's court, and just how will the suitors engage with them in an effort to win them over? It makes the most sense that these would be the leading lady's family and / or friends, but what if it's some kind of special court assigned by the show? Also, will there be challenges for the gentlemen to participate in, which will prove their worthiness for said lead that this court can investigate?
Basically, while NBC could have set up an AGT spinoff called Simon Cowell's Pride & Prejudice Dating Duels, where talented individuals get points from a panel of judges which then determine whether or not they're allowed to go on dates in front of a live audience, we'll (potentially) be getting an even more romantic dating show in the form of Pride & Prejudice: An Experiment in Romance.
Obviously, there are a lot of details yet to come on the show, but, in the meantime, you can check out what you can watch right now with our 2021 summer TV schedule!