U’s ‘Date,’ ‘Wheel’ hit the road with N.Y. digs

Reality shows to open Gotham offices

Universal syndie reality skeins “Blind Date” and “The 5th Wheel” will soon be trolling for East Coast talent, as U Domestic Television says it will be opening a fully staffed Gotham office for the two series.

More than half of 340 dates due to be arranged for the dating shows’ 2003-2004 season are slated for New York.

Exec producer David Garfinkle said the decision to go bi-coastal on both shows was because of the “overwhelming response” from New York viewers, and the decision was made that it was “high time to conquer this edgy, untapped market.”

Four-year-old “Blind Date” averaged 2.63 million viewers a day in the 2002-2003 season, while the newer and younger-demo “5th Wheel ” is picking up around 2.1 million a day.

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