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The latest news from Lighthearted Entertainment

  • MTV’s New Dating Show Actually Gets Queer Dating

    MTV’s New Dating Show Actually Gets Queer Dating

    Like all dating reality show franchises, MTV’s Are You the One? has a shtick. A bunch of young singles are thrown together in a house, set in the kind of tropical paradise required for finding true love on television. The twist: Using old-school matchmaking techniques and complex algorithms, dating experts have paired the housemates with their supposed “ideal” mates, but neither the cast nor the viewers know the matches. Continue reading on BuzzFeed

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  • The Slow, Messy Evolution of LGBTQ Dating Shows

    The Slow, Messy Evolution of LGBTQ Dating Shows

    The MTV reality dating series Are You the One? pairs the pursuit of romance with a pretty sweet deal: If every one of the show’s contestants correctly identifies their “perfect match,” the group splits a grand prize of $1 million. In each of the show’s first seven seasons, 20 singles (and sometimes an additional wild card or two) were put through a “rigorous matchmaking process” and chosen to live together in a massive house. They were diverse in geographic and racial background but uniformly young, brash, attractive, and heterosexual. “Welcome to the most ambitious matchmaking experiment ever attempted,” then-host Ryan Devlin told the starry-eyed singles. “You’re here because you all have one thing in common: You suck at relationships.” Naturally, chaos always ensued. Continue reading on The Atlantic

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  • MTV’s ‘Are You The One?’ Shifts to Sexually Fluid Contestants for New Season

    MTV’s ‘Are You The One?’ Shifts to Sexually Fluid Contestants for New Season

    MTV’s dating reality show “Are You The One?” is addressing changing attitudes regarding sexuality and gender identity by featuring sexually fluid contestants on the show’s eighth season, which bows June 27. The shift from the show’s past focus on heterosexual relationships is part of the larger effort at MTV to be relevant to younger viewers by reflecting contemporary mores and concerns in youth culture. Continue reading on Variety.com

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  • ‘Are You The One’ Season 8 Makes Bachelor Nation Look Even More Old Fashioned Than It Already Is

    ‘Are You The One’ Season 8 Makes Bachelor Nation Look Even More Old Fashioned Than It Already Is

    Often when you think of reality TV dating shows, The Bachelor and Bachelorette are first on your radar. There have been dozens of seasons throughout the legendary franchise, and while they can occasionally wade into compelling territory, they’re not typically treading new ground. Viewers see the same kinds of people and the same few tired pick-up lines over and over again, and eventually, it’s hard not to want something more interesting. Enter Season 8 of MTV’s Are You The One?, which is endlessly refreshing in its diversity and boundary-pushing cast. Continue reading on Bustle.com

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  • Season 8 Of Are You The One? Just Made History (And It Has Everything To Do With the Boom Boom Room)

    Season 8 Of Are You The One? Just Made History (And It Has Everything To Do With the Boom Boom Room)

    The Boom Boom Room is an Are You the One? staple: The private getaway is the ideal location for potential (and newly confirmed) Perfect Matches to get to know each other without others around. And during tonight’s Season 8 kickoff, Kai earned a special distinction in the series’ run: entering the private space with two different love hopefuls in the same evening (timing is key; repeat cameos with differing partners is not). Oh, and Jenna and Remy are also a part of this special footnote as well. Continue reading on MTV.com

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  • ‘Are You the One?’: Does a Sexually Fluid Cast Stand a Chance on Season 8 of the MTV Dating Show?

    ‘Are You the One?’: Does a Sexually Fluid Cast Stand a Chance on Season 8 of the MTV Dating Show?

    MTV is adding a new wrinkle to the “Are You the One?” format for Season 8 by introducing an entirely sexually fluid cast, but at least one person still has faith that they’ll each be able to find their perfect match. “Absolutely,” said Dr. Frankie Bashan, the clinical psychologist and “relationship expert” added to the show to help the 16 hopefuls work through their dating woes. “These are smart, beautiful, curious individuals that want something more for themselves, and they’re eager to figure out how to make that work. I believe they will match and they will maintain, because of the compatibility piece they’ll be longevity. That’s my hope for them.” Continue reading on The Wrap

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  • MTV Reveals First Sexually Fluid Reality Dating Show

    MTV Reveals First Sexually Fluid Reality Dating Show

    The groundbreaking eighth season of the network’s hit series ‘Are You the One?’ is set to premiere on June 26. MTV on Thursday announced the first sexually fluid cast for the upcoming eighth season of their hit reality series Are You the One? hosted by Terrence J.Following Are You the One?‘s signature format, 16 singles will travel to Hawaii in hopes of finding their “perfect match” and splitting the $1 million cash prize. But, for the first time ever on a dating competition show in the U.S., there will be no gender limitations, as each castmember identifies as sexually fluid. Continue reading on Hollywood Reporter

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  • TV’s First Sexually Fluid Cast, No Privacy and 1 Shared Bed: Secrets Revealed About Are You the One?

    TV’s First Sexually Fluid Cast, No Privacy and 1 Shared Bed: Secrets Revealed About Are You the One?

    “These were stories we needed to tell and why not do it on this show?” Are You the One? is set to break barriers in its season eight premiere tonight on MTV when 16 sexually fluid contestants enter the house with the hope of finding their perfect match, making it the first reality TV dating competition show in the United States to do so. In case you are sleeping on one of reality TV’s most delicious guilty pleasures, here’s a quick breakdown how it works: 20 sexy singles, 10 guys and 10 girls, are plucked from their lives to live and date while living in the same house—drinking and fighting and kissing, oh my!—as they attempt to find their perfect match that has been pre-determined by matchmakers. If they get all the pairings right by the end, they split $1 million. Continue reading on E News Online

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  • Inside ‘Are You the One?’, the Wildest Dating Show You’re Not Talking Enough About

    Inside ‘Are You the One?’, the Wildest Dating Show You’re Not Talking Enough About

    Shanley is crying. We hear her before we see her. Her voice, which rings out over a scenic shot of a beautiful beach at night, is wavering. “I don’t trust anybody in this house,” she exclaims. We finally see her. She is standing in front of a group of her peers, brown hair pulled back in a messy low ponytail, her face puffy and red, probably from some combination of emotion, exhaustion, alcohol, and sun exposure. She continues: “You’re selfish, you wanna win the money. I get it! I wanna win the money too. But I can’t. There’s another person I care about, whether you’re my perfect match or not.” The group stares back at her silently. “You guys are fucking assholes.” Continue reading on Vice.com

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  • 6 Ways to Successfully Run Your Company With a Co-President

    6 Ways to Successfully Run Your Company With a Co-President

    ENTREPRENEUR — February 20, 2019 When Howard P. Schultz, founder and CEO of Lighthearted Entertainment, unexpectedly passed away, the people at his company were left in a state of shock. “Everything completely changed for us literally in an instant,” says Rob LaPlante, who was EVP at the time. LaPlante and VP Jeff Spangler (pictured right to left in the photo above) suddenly found themselves in charge of the production company which created hit reality shows like Extreme Makeover and Bye Felicia. “Howard was an unquestionably strong presence and we worked together on everything,” LaPlante told Entrepreneur. “But when he passed, Jeff and I were forced to become leaders that shared every piece of responsibility.” Continue reading the full article… 

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  • Lighthearted Bolsters Development Team

    Lighthearted Bolsters Development Team

    REALSCREEN — January 17, 2019 Los Angeles-based unscripted TV prodco Lighthearted Entertainment has expanded its executive ranks with the appointment of Ashley Shoener and Christiane Gomez to the company’s development team. Shoener (pictured, left) has stepped into the role of senior director of development, where she will develop new ideas for Lighthearted’s current project slate. She previously served as director of development at Maverick TV USA, where she produced Chrisley Knows Best, and developed and sold series to E!, TLC, HGTV and Snapchat. Gomez (right) is Lighthearted’s new manager of development after serving as development associate at Pilgrim Media Group. She additionally has experience in unscripted casting, having helped cast hit shows including Billion Dollar Buyer, Shark Tank and Married at First Sight. Continue reading the full article…

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  • OWN Unveils Three Unscripted Series & Premiere Date For Will Packer’s ‘Ready To Love’

    OWN Unveils Three Unscripted Series & Premiere Date For Will Packer’s ‘Ready To Love’

    Deadline.com — OWN is bringing more romance to Saturday nights, unveiling three new unscripted series focusing on love, relationships and marriage and setting a date for its previously announced dating series from Will Packer. The Discovery-owned cable net today also set a two-night premiere for Ready to Love, a dating series from Will Packer Media and Lighthearted Entertainment that explores the real-life dating interactions of sexy, successful black men and women in their 30s and 40s who are looking for lasting love and an authentic relationship. It will launch on at 10 PM Tuesday and Saturday, October 23 and 27, and run on Saturdays thereafter. “OWN viewers are looking for real and honest stories that are relatable to their own lives,” OWN president Erik Logan said. “These new shows all feature passionate relationships and the desire to keep love alive and will captivate viewers from the very beginning. I’m excited about our growing roster …

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  • OWN Orders 2 Will Packer Series: Drama ‘Ambitions’ & Unscripted ‘Ready To Love’

    OWN Orders 2 Will Packer Series: Drama ‘Ambitions’ & Unscripted ‘Ready To Love’

    Deadline.com (April 17, 2018) – OWN has greenlighted two series from prolific producer Will Packer (Girls Trip, Ride Along): soapy family drama Ambitions, a co-production with Lionsgate, and unscripted dating series from a male perspective Ready to Love. Ambitions and Ready to Love, which Packer will executive produce, are the first series to come out of Packer’s first-look deal with OWN, inked last summer as part of OWN parent Discovery Communications’ investment in Will Packer Media. (It was originally announced as a first-look for scripted series.) Packer partnered with Discovery and Universal Pictures to form the production and branded content company focused on TV and digital scripted and unscripted series, branded content as well as short-form entertainment targeting millennial audiences. Continue reading on Deadline.com

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  • Lighthearted Entertainment Expands Development Team

    Lighthearted Entertainment Expands Development Team

    Variety.com (July 19, 2017) – Lighthearted Entertainment, the production company that specializes in unscripted television and is behind shows such as MTV’s “Are You The One?” is boosting its development team. The company has brought on two new executive hires and promoted another, Variety has learned. “Lighthearted Entertainment is proud to both add to our team and promote from within as we address the needs of our constantly evolving industry. We look forward to working with our new team as the company continues to produce provocative unscripted content,” said Rob LaPlante and Jeff Spangler, presidents of Lighthearted Entertainment. Unscripted exec Paul Taylor has come aboard Lighthearted Entertainment to serve as senior vice president of production, overseeing all financial and logistic aspects of the company’s production and development slate. Before joining Lighthearted, Taylor was vice president of production for 51 Minds Entertainment where he oversaw production of shows like “Below Deck,” “Steve …

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  • Lighthearted names new SVP of production, expands development team

    Lighthearted names new SVP of production, expands development team

    Realscreen.com (July 18, 2017) – California-based prodco Lighthearted Entertainment has appointed Paul Taylor as senior vice president of production. Taylor (pictured, above) will oversee all financial and logistical aspects of the company’s production and development slate. He joins the company after serving as VP of production for 51 Minds Entertainment where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations and production of the company’s slate including Below Deck, Steve Austen’s Broken Skull Ranchand Redneck Island. Prior to that, Taylor was VP of production at High Noon Entertainment, working on series for assorted networks including VH1, HGTV, History Channel, Food Network, TruTV, and WE tv. Lighthearted has also expanded its development team, elevating Mark Neal to VP of development. Neal joined the company in 2014 as development producer and has most recently been the director of current programming. Previously, he contributed to such programs as MTV’s Are You the One?, VH1′s Dating Naked and Twinning and Last Squad Standing for Oxygen. Furthermore, …

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  • New Original Series ‘Last Squad Standing’ Premieres Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 9/8c!

    New Original Series ‘Last Squad Standing’ Premieres Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 9/8c!

    Oxygen.com (September 7, 2016) – Move over Taylor Swift, Oxygen Media is taking #squadgoals to the next level in the brand new competition series “Last Squad Standing” premiering Tuesday, November 1 at 9 PM ET/PT. Hosted by Alesha Reneé(“Girl Code”), three groups of friends from around the country will live together, compete and ultimately vote each other off the show for a grand prize of $100,000 and the title of “Last Squad Standing.” Read more…

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  • VH1’s ‘Dating Naked’ Sets Rocsi Diaz as Season 3 Host

    VH1’s ‘Dating Naked’ Sets Rocsi Diaz as Season 3 Host

    TheWrap.com (May 24, 2016) – VH1’s popular reality series “Dating Naked” has added former “Entertainment Tonight” co-host and correspondent Rocsi Diaz as host of the show’s upcoming third season, TheWrap has learned exclusively. Diaz is a multi-platform broadcast personality who was also the co-host of BET’s “106 & Park.” Earlier in her career, she hosted a number of popular FM radio programs across the U.S. as well as BET’s nationally syndicated radio program “106 & Park Weekend Countdown” and her own radio program “Rocsi on the Radio.” This season once again features two main daters, David and Natalie, as they search for love on a tropical island paradise. Shot on location in Bora Bora, the two explore the art of romance, free from the burden of the outside world and their clothes. Read more at TheWrap.com  

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  • MTV renews ARE YOU THE ONE for a fourth season

    MTV renews ARE YOU THE ONE for a fourth season

    MTV Press Release (November 11, 2015) — MTV today announced a season four renewal for its hit matchmaking experiment “Are You The One?”. The series is coming off the highest-rated episode of its current season with a 1.42 P12-34 L+3 rating – representing a 78% lift versus live + same day – and currently pacing up 8 percent over its prior season. Last week’s airing was also the highest-rated episode since the first season finale in March of 2014. Socially, “Are You The One?” is logging significant gains versus last season on Instagram (+136%), Twitter (+15%) and Facebook (+12%).  In addition, MTV’s been engaging fans throughout the season with more than half a million votes being cast during #PlayAYTO, an interactive TV experience that allows fans to play along with the show and compete to win a trip to Hawaii.  The penultimate episode of season three airs Wednesday, November 11 on …

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  • Variety’s Reality Impact Report 2015: Jeff Spangler & Rob LaPlante

    Variety’s Reality Impact Report 2015: Jeff Spangler & Rob LaPlante

    Variety Magazine (September 29, 2015) — Following founder Howard Schultz’s sudden death in late 2014, the duo took over the company, keeping the “lighthearted” mission intact. Since, MTV’s young-skewing hit “Are You the One?,” a spin on the dating genre, has entered its third season, and VH1’s cult favorite “Dating Naked” will follow suit. Continue reading at Variety.com

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  • Dating Naked Gets The Greenlight For Season Three

    Dating Naked Gets The Greenlight For Season Three

    VH1 Press Release (September 14, 2015) — Fans of pixelated packages and blurred bulges rejoice! Dating Naked is coming back for a third season on VH1. The news arrives as we gear up for one last episode this season in which naked daters Kerri and Chris will finally make a decision — will they choose each other, or someone else that they’ve built a relationship with over the past 10 weeks? Tune in on Wednesday at 9/8c to find out! Continue reading at VH1.com

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  • Lighthearted Entertainment Continues to Thrive as ‘Dating Naked’ Enters Season 2

    Lighthearted Entertainment Continues to Thrive as ‘Dating Naked’ Enters Season 2

    Variety.com (July 22, 2015) — Late last year, the torch at Lighthearted Entertainment was passed down from late founder Howard Schultz to Jeff Spangler and Rob LaPlante. Though the transition was bittersweet, following Schultz’s sudden death in Dec. 2014, the duo, now co-owners and partners, is keeping it lighthearted — a mantra that fuels the company. Continue reading at Variety.com

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  • Exclusive: Lighthearted talks “Naked” year, expands ownership

    Exclusive: Lighthearted talks “Naked” year, expands ownership

    Realscreen.com (December 10, 2014) – It has been a banner year for California-based prodco Lighthearted Entertainment, which made headlines with its VH1 series Dating Naked and produced two seasons of Are You the One? for MTV. Realscreen caught up with the team to find out what’s ahead in the new year. Read more at Realscreen

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  • First Look: VH1’s New Show ‘Bye Felicia’ Aims to Empower Women

    First Look: VH1’s New Show ‘Bye Felicia’ Aims to Empower Women

    People.com (November 17, 2014) – Get ready to say goodbye to Felicia. “Bye Felicia” originated in the movie Friday, when a disinterested Ice Cube utters the line to a character. The expression has since since become Internet shorthand for passive-aggressively (or occasionally aggressive-aggresively) letting someone know you don’t actually care that they’re leaving. But we all have a Felicia inside, and that’s where Deborah Hawkes, Missy Young and VH1 come in. Atlanta, Georgia-based life coaches Young and Hawkes are joining with VH1 for Bye Felicia, a series that promises to help women in Los Angeles “turn their lives around … say hello to their better selves and goodbye to Felicia” via coaching that pairs empowerment with brutal honesty. Read the full article at People.com

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  • VH1 Orders Competition Series For Identical Twins

    VH1 Orders Competition Series For Identical Twins

    Deadline.com (November 10, 2014) – VH1 is putting the bond between identical twins to the test with Twinning (working title), a 10-episode hourlong competition reality series set to premiere next summer. The project, created and produced by Lighthearted Entertainment (Dating Naked), will feature 12 sets of twins going through challenges that will test their twin connection. Read the full story at Deadline.com

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