CHANNEL 7 made an announcement this morning about its big, new shiny floor dating show: Take Me Out.
It called it a "worldwide phenomenon" and that it's the "cheekiest, boldest dating series ever to hit Australian screens". It screeched about how the format has been a success all over the world from China to the United Kingdom. Other media called it the "Australian version" of the UK hit.
Except it's really not.
The format involves 30 women standing behind podiums with a light as suitors are rolled out on to the stage one by one. If the female contestants feel sparks (or thinks they're hot), they keep their light on. If they think the dude is a fizzer, they buzz out.
If this is starting to sound familiar, it's because it is.
Take Me Out isn't the "exciting new entertainment series" Channel 7 is touting. It's a recycled version of a dating show that bombed on Channel 10 a decade ago.
Take Me Out was previously tagged as Taken Out, an original dating format developed in Australia and starring James Kerley as the host. The show was so badly received that it was axed after mere weeks with the remainder of the filmed episodes shunted to the post-10.30pm dead zone.
It might've been promptly forgotten if not for the fact the production company behind it, FremantleMedia, sold it overseas to numerous markets where it did find success. Most notably in China, where the show was watched, at its peak, by 50 million people every week.
SBS has been airing the Chinese version of the series, If You Are The One, with English subtitles for years. The show became such a cult hit, two years ago SBS teamed up with the Chinese series to send a contingent of Australian contestants to Nanjing, China.
So don't be fooled into thinking this is some international hit finally making its way to Australia. It's really more of a full circle thing, but it seems Channel 7 really doesn't want you to know that.
What's changed between now and 10 years ago when Australian audiences didn't want a bar of Taken Out? Our inexorable appetite for all things to do with (non) reality and dating on our TV. Free-to-air TV viewers are insatiable for it even though there are about 3478 varieties of fame-hungry-boy-meets-fame-hungry-girl shows out there.
Thank god for Netflix.
Channel 7 has been approached for comment.
Share your TV and movies obsessions with @wenleima on Twitter.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.