MEDIA LIFE -- Sept 1 -- The number of dating shows on syndication has dwindled from six in 2002 to two, and both are struggling. In July, "Blind Date" and "Elimidate" averaged a 0.8 and 0.9 household rating, respectively. Season to date, "Elimidate" has averaged a 1.1 household rating, down 21%. "Blind Date" is down 25% with a 1.2 household rating. "There were too many dating shows, and that accelerated viewer burnout," says Peter Koeppel, president of Dallas-based agency Koeppel Direct. "The dating shows may be an outdated concept." In 2002, there were shows like "Change of Heart," "Shipmates" and "Fifth Wheel." NBC's fourth edition of "Average Joe" was down 59% from season one in 2003. ABC's five-part documentary "Hooking Up" chronicled the online dating scene in New York City and delivered a weak 3.2 household average.
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