Fate Date: the dating scenes on college campuses around the world

Fate Date was a reality blind date show developed for Loyola College’s (in Baltimore, Md.) first TV network, TGN 70, in 2002. It was added in order to help jumpstart the network, created and directed by B. J. Barretta in 2002, executive produced by Alan Danzis, and written and hosted by Joe Salvati in 2004. In its eight-episode season on TGN 70, the show offered an inside look into Loyola College’s dating scene. Two co-eds were placed on a blind date and followed around Baltimore by a camera crew. The show became an instant hit at Loyola College; however, it was terminated on May 3, 2003 due to the recent graduations of Barretta and Danzis.

Barretta, Danzis and Salvati reunited after their graduation and decided to revive the show hoping to produce it for a TV network. Danzis pitched the idea to Shane Walker, president of the U Network, and Walker agreed to put the show in its 2005 cable lineup. As a result of this facelift, Fate Date will observe the dating lifestyles at other college and university campuses. The show now features a date analyst named Diana, who offers colorful commentary on the show’s contestants, their demeanor and mannerisms. In short, the show is more professional.

It is not coincidental that, as the producer of Fate Date, Danzis is passionate about the show. He promises that the awkward blind dates will have your sides splitting from laughter. Danzis is also confident about the show’s future success on the U Network, attributing it to the show’s uniqueness. “There’s nothing like this show on television,” he says. “So much of reality shows are all about ‘gotchas’ and trying to trip up the contestants.” He continues to say that contestants usually do not find this funny.

“We find the funny in the awkwardness between two complete and soon-to-be-uncomfortable strangers on a date.” In addition, Danzis also attributes the shows success to the fact that no one has targeted college students before.

Danzis does not believe that fate plays a prominent role in the success of the blind dates. He credits chemistry for the success. “All the ones that haven’t been successful is for lack of chemistry,” he says.

He also mentions unrequited love. Many of the show’s contestants like their dates, but unfortunately this feeling is not mutual. Danzis says that although the dating scene at every college or university is different, every somewhat has the same idea about dates.

Danzis further affirms that they will consider hosting an episode at the University of Miami next fall if we pick up the U Network. He says that they’ll definitely be approaching UM as one of the first schools.

Sandra Remilien can be contacted at s.remilien@umiami.edu.