Bethany Watson Teases Lifetime's Deliciously Voyeuristic 'Date Night Live'
If you've ever been seated next to a couple on an obvious first date and wanted to share the cringe-worthy details with your friends, Lifetime has heard your pleas and feels the same way. In the network's new live series, Date Night Live, their cameras follow real couples in real time as they embark on real first dates, and they've invited us along to watch (and judge) every voyeuristic moment.
The show will use cutting-edge technology to flip between multiple dates going on simultaneously in separate cities; so we'll be privy to the awkward conversations, hilariously unforgettable moments, sparks of romance and everything in-between for dates happening in New York City, Atlanta, Dallas and San Diego.
TVinsider.com chatted with Bethany Watson, co-host of Z100 and iheartradio's Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, who will provide in-studio, play-by-play commentary alongside comedian Michelle Collins (host of the ABC after show After Paradise), and matchmaker and relationship expert, Paul Brunson. And, although the live show hasn't even premiered, she reveals that during rehearsals, "My jaw was on the floor."
We imagine what Scandal's Olivia Pope, Walking Dead's Daryl and other tv characters would say if they were looking for love online ...
Bethany, what makes Date Night Live different from other dating shows?
Bethany Watson: Instead of watching pre-recorded clips and edited content, you're watching the date as it happens. I'm in the studio with my co-hosts, and we're watching the dates along with you, and it's totally unplanned, unscripted and it's gonna be really exciting.
Since these dates are happening live, what could happen?
The great thing is that we have producers on the ground in each city monitoring the dates. If they feel like something is about to happen, like, "Oh, the chemistry is really great between these two..." they're in contact with the studio here in New York and can say, "Hey, I really think you guys should switch the feed over to Dallas. I think they're about to kiss or someone's about to throw a drink. I can feel it." Then we'll cut in and say, "You know what, we're gonna go to the feed in Dallas and see what's about to happen." They'll be monitoring all the dates, all the time, and if something exciting is gonna happen, we'll make sure you see it.
So we're not gonna miss any of the juicy action?
No, no, no, because I would be upset if I miss anything juicy. I'm as much as a voyeur in this process as the audience, and I'm not gonna wanna miss a good make-out session!
I'm sure that you have probably done a run-through episode or two to make sure that everything works. These aren't dates that we're gonna see, but what has happened?
We've been doing rehearsals to make sure all the technology works, because there are a ton of moving parts. I've heard that the control room is like the trading floor of the stock exchange—there are a lot of people yelling and raising their hands and trying to decide which city to go to, which angle to cut to. But on the dates, we've already had a makeout session. We've had a cringe-worthy date where someone left in the middle of it. One poor guy, his opening line to his date was, "How old are you?" As soon as he said it, he cringed, we all cringed, and there was really just no coming back from that.
No one is immune to an awkward breakup.
What has the chemistry been like between you, Michelle and Paul?
I'm in love with both of them. Michelle, Paul and I get along really well, and there is just a really nice flow between the three of us. Michelle is incredibly funny. Obviously, she's a comic, but she's also really smart. And she's not afraid to say what's on her mind, which I really appreciate.
Then, Paul is so kind. As soon as you see him, you love him. He's been married for, I think, 16 years. He's sweet. He's gentle. And I think a lot of people are gonna want Paul's feedback. We all bring something a little bit different to the show and add a unique perspective, so I think we all kind of round each other out very nicely.
Bethany, what do you bring to this trio of experts?
I think I'm really the one who's cheering the daters on. When I joined the show, I wanted to make sure that it wasn't going to be sarcastic or mean—I'm not into that. I wanted to make sure that, in the end, we're all just trying to find love. I'm single, I live in New York City, it's really tough to date in this city because everybody's really career driven. So I'm not the best at first dates. I'm pretty awkward. And I think I have a sympathetic perspective on how frustrating and scary it can be to go on a first date.
Would you be willing to have one of your first dates appear on Date Night Live?
[Laughs] It would be the most painful television ever ... I was thinking about it and thinking that for me, going on a date is more stressful than being on live TV. I don't know if I would be brave enough to let someone watch my date. I think it would be really painful for everybody. I don't think I would wanna put anyone through that.
How will Date Night Live interact with the fans?
During the show, we're gonna have questions that we post to the audience. One of my jobs is to be on social media, seeing what people are saying as it's happening. We're going to be interacting with each other too—and agreeing, disagreeing and getting each other's perspectives on the dates. (On Twitter, use @DateNightLiveTV and #DateNightLive)
Date Night Live, Thursdays beginning July 27 at 10/9c, Lifetime