Canter set to start ‘Dating’

The honeymoon’s over for Mark Canter, who is switching hats to become executive producer of Columbia TriStar’s syndie strip “The Dating Game” after spending the past season as exec producer of its companion show, “The Newlywed Game.”

Canter succeeds Brian Graden as exec producer on “The Dating Game”; Graden has moved on to a top programming post at MTV. Columbia TriStar Television Distribution has tapped Stephen Brown to fill Canter’s shows on “The Newlywed Game.”

The exec producer shuffle on CTTD’s “Dating/Newlywed Hour” follows last month’s announcement that gameshow vets Chuck Woolery and Bob Eubanks will replace Brad Sherwood and Gary Kroeger as hosts of “Dating” and “Newlywed,” respectively.

CTTD’s revival of “The Dating/Newlywed Hour” sparked a surge of interest in gameshows in Hollywood’s syndie production community last year after the shows were quickly snapped up by stations. But the revivals averaged just a 1.4 national Nielsen household rating for the season, prompting CTTD to bring in more established hosts for season two.

CTTD is still pounding away on the renewal front in key major markets as the low-rated block was dropped by some incumbent stations. In Chicago, CTTD recently struck a deal to move the shows from Fox O&O WFLD to indie WCIU in the fall. New homes for the shows in New York and Los Angeles, where block presently airs on Fox O&Os, are expected to be announced soon.

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