After a well-received first season, Married at First Sight SA received the green light for season two.
This reality-meets-social experiment show has proven to be a hit with its single contestants and viewers.
Last year, viewers saw a home-grown edition of the successfully adapted Danish format. And they loved it.
Oxyg3n Media’s Rebecca Fuller-Campbell, who is the executive producer, said: “The series was very successful for Lifetime, increasing the slot viewership to 148%, which is 11% above the target for the slot. The average age of the viewer was 38 and series one attracted in excess of 60 000 new viewers to the channel.”
And they are working on the follow-on series.
She said: “We are currently in pre-production with the series and our call to entry has just been released. Singles between the ages of 24 and 40 (an increase in age limit due to high demand) can now enter by going to www.marriedatfirstsight.co.za. We are hopeful for even more entrants this season and we have an incredible panel of experts poised to match six couples.”
As for there being any learning curves in the making of the first season, she said: “Like the first season of any format, we’ve learned a lot. Our experts are really getting stuck into the science to find couples that will last. We learned that we needed more episodes to show our viewers as much of the process as possible, so they can see what the couples get up to on their journey.
“We’ve also realised that viewers need to see more of the experts and understand how and why our participants are matched.
“South Africa is quite unique to other territories that have produced Married at First Sight; we have to be very considerate of traditions and cultures. We’ll definitely be demonstrating to the viewer how we consider these factors.”
To that end, how many episodes will make up the second season? “It will be eight episodes, but – very exciting – we also have a one-off special to kick-off the season.
“In this episode we will revisit our series one participants and see where they are now and what being involved in Married at First Sight meant to them.
“We are looking to match three couples. However should we find more matches, we will of course consider more marriages. The critical thing is that the participants that are matched have the experts and the tools to make a marriage work.”
For those planning to enter, you need to make sure you tick the following boxes: single, never been married, have no children and you fall within the age bracket required.
Fame seekers will be sniffed out in the rigorous interview process – so you have been warned.
She said: “They must be looking for love and not fame! This is critical as it’s an experiment designed to find love and not celebrity status. They will need to be brave and committed to the process, even when it’s hard.
“They must be able to follow the steps and listen to our experts.”
In case you are wondering if the same experts are on the bill this time, she said: “We have had a little juggle with our experts, I think the audience will be very pleased with our line-up.
“We’ll be announcing them shortly.
“Sam (Cowen) will be very involved in the series. She was a fundamental part of season one and continues to support all our participants. A lot more screen time, however, will be dedicated to the experts and participants in workshops and sessions.”
And so begins a new journey to, hopefully, a few happily-ever-afters for some; even if Cupid isn’t in conventional form here.