You’d think in a world of Love Is Blind and Married at First Sight and Love Island (etc etc), there would be enough modern reality dating series. Instead, CBS and Network 10 are looking to a famous romantic 1970s TV show for inspiration. 

The networks have both ordered local versions of The Real Love Boat and the premise is pretty self-explanatory: a reality dating competition based on the old comedy drama The Love Boat.

That scripted show was set on the luxury cruise ship MS Pacific Princess, and the new reality dating version will also be set on the cruise ship.

The Love Boat is a timeless, romantic concept with universal appeal, and we’re excited to reimagine this popular series for audiences in two different countries,” George Cheeks, president and chief executive officer of CBS, and head of global content strategy for Paramount’s free-to-air networks (including Network 10), shared in a statement (as per Variety).

Singles will be brought together to look for love aboard the ship. According to the show’s description, “destination dates, challenges and surprise singles will test the couples’ compatibility and chemistry. Like the beloved original scripted series, the indispensable crew members including ‘captain’ and ‘cruise director’ will play pivotal roles in the matchmaking and navigation of the romantic (and sometimes turbulent) waters ahead.”

The contestants will be on board the ship for almost a month, but only one winning couple will make it to the final port and win a cash prize and a trip courtesy of Princess Cruises (the show’s exclusive cruise line partner). I’m just going to try and ignore the unintentionally sinister undertone of that concept – what happens to the losing couples, are they made to walk the plank?

Production on both The Real Love Boat is set to begin in the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled for casting callouts if you fancy a month sunning yourself on a ship while looking for your one true love (or at least extra Instagram followers).

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Australia is getting all the international franchises these days. The Real Love Boat announcement follows the news that NCIS, that police procedural show that always seems to be on some TV channel at any hour of the day, is heading to Sydney for its first international edition.

NCIS: Sydney will begin in 2023 on Paramount Plus Australia and Network 10 and will feature local stories told by Aussie actors and producers. With the world’s largest natural harbour, Sydney makes a lot of sense as the setting for a show about naval crimes AND a dating show set on a luxury cruise ship.

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