Michael Bolton and Zooey Deschanel to Host ‘Celebrity Dating Game’ at ABC

Michael Schneider
·2-min read

How are we supposed to live without Michael Bolton and Zooey Deschanel? Turns out we won’t have to. Bolton and Deschanel have signed on to host “The Celebrity Dating Game,” a new take on the format that has been picked up by ABC for eight one-hour episodes.

You read that right. Bolton. Deschanel. Celebrities. “Dating Game.” As Bolton might croon, TV is Back on Its Feet Again. Produced by Sony Pictures TV, the original “Dating Game” ran on ABC from 1965 to 1973, and has inspired several updates since then (the most recent being a syndicated revival in the late 1990s).

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This one, with Bolton and Deschanel at the helm, promises “a wry wink at modern dating with a star-studded roster of celebrity singles in their pursuit to find love. Offering a spin on the classic dating show, the celebrity guests will remain a mystery as one lucky suitor is chosen from a hidden panel of three bachelors and/or bachelorettes based on their answers to the celebrity’s questions. Suitors will have the opportunity to guess the secret identity based on clues, questions and special parody performances by host Michael Bolton.”

Bolton is leaning fully into the parody version of himself that first caught fire via the Lonely Island’s Emmy-nominated “Saturday Night Live” video “Captain Jack Sparrow,” followed by collabs with “Honest Trailers” and Funny or Die, as well as the Netflix special “Michael Bolton’s Big Sexy Valentine’s Special.” He next has “Michael Bolton’s Big Sexy Podcast” coming to the iHeart Podcast Network via Will Ferrell’s Big Money Players. He first came to the music scene in the late 1980s with his long hair and chart-topping sappy ballads like “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You.”

Deschanel, of course, is known for her starring adorkable role in Fox’s “New Girl,” as well as film credits like “(500) Days of Summer,” “Elf,” “Yes Man” and more. As a singer-songwriter, she’s part of the duo She & Him with M. Ward.

Bolton will serve as an executive producer on “Celebrity Dating Game,” along with Charles Wachter, Christina Kline and Wendi Wan. It will be filmed in Los Angeles, and a premiere date will be announced at a later date.

ABC continues to lean heavily into the game show space, including recent new entries “The Hustler,” The Chase,” “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune,” “Supermarket Sweep” and “Don’t,” in addition to staples including “The $100,000 Pyramid,” “Card Sharks,” “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Holey Moley,” “Match Game,” “Press Your Luck,” “To Tell the Truth” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

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