The format of Barris's first dating show, The Dating Game, which commenced in 1965, put an unmarried man behind a screen to ask questions of three women who are potential mates, or one woman who asked questions of three men.The person behind the screen could hear their answers and voices but not see them during the gameplay, although the audience could see the contestants.The genre waned for a while but it was later revived by The New Dating Game and the UK version Blind Date, and the original shows were popular in reruns, unusual for any game show.

In shows involving couples, there is a substantial incentive to break up any of the existing relationships.

In shows involving singles, there is a mismatch of numbers ensuring constant competition.

The audience sees only the game; an important feature of all dating game shows is that the contestants have little or no previous knowledge of each other, and are exposed to each other only through the game, which may include viewing a photograph or at least knowing the basic criteria for participation (typically participants are not already married).

There have been a number of dating shows aired on television over the years, using a variety of formats and rules.

Dating game shows are television game shows that incorporate a dating system in the form of a game with clear rules.

Human matchmaking is involved only in selecting the game's contestants, who are usually selected more for the amusement value than any concern for their happiness or compatibility.

Once, someone divorced after appearing on The Newlywed Game got a "second chance" on The Dating Game.

Gimmicks were the lifeblood of all such shows, which drew criticisms for instigating disaffection that could not have been effected.

He Said, She Said focused not on setting up the date, but on comparing the couple's different impressions afterwards, and for their cooperation offering to fund a second date.