THE LOVE EXPERTS

AIRDATES

September 1978-September 1979

NETWORK(S)

Daily syndication

ANNOUNCER(S)

Jack Clark

PRODUCER

Bob Stewart


"(Three contestants and their love problems are briefly summarized). They're here to tell their stories to (four celebrities) on The Love Experts!"


Bill moved from a game show podium to a talk show desk to dispense advice & prizes to contestants who had some semi-odd problems with matters of the heart.



Bill interviews three contestants, one at a time, and asks them various questions about the particular problem they're having with their love life. After the questioning is over, the panelists have their turn to ask the contestant any questions they may have and give their respective solutions to the problem.


After the three contestants have told their stories, the panelists vote for their favorite love problem, and the winner gets a mystery prize. (In the event of a tie, Bill casts the tie-breaking vote.)


Also on each show, Bill and the panelists give quick answers to lovelorn audience members I guess because 30 minutes is such a long time to fill.


Nothing in television happens overnight, and Bob Stewart had actually been developing "The Love Experts" for quite some time. A pilot for syndication was shot as early as 1975, hosted by Jack Cassidy. The series didn't sell and Cassidy died the following year.


Bob Stewart gave his idea another go in 1978 in the midst of uprooting his production company and moving it from New York to Hollywood. Bob, ever loyal to the man he considered his go-to guy for virtually every one of his new projects, turned to Bill to host his new pilot.


There's a strange footnote to the development of this show...Strictly speaking, it didn't become a game show until the series actually went into production. Voting for the "most interesting problem" and giving that person a prize isn't an element in any of the pilots for the series. It was, strictly speaking, a talk show that became a game show that looked like a talk show.


OK, it's different. But with the right panel it IS entertaining. The episodes that got out of the vault and are currently circulating are reasonably entertaining, but it relies so heavily on panel chemistry that the series probably wasn't consistantly entertaining, because a diferent panel might not interact as well.


There was one regular panelist joining Bill on each show; he was Bob Stewart's OTHER go-to-guy, Geoff Edwards. Joining Geoff & Bill during the season was a surprisingly formidable list of celebrities. Among them were two rising stars: Jamie Lee Curtis and David Letterman.


Bill, however, shines in his role as half-game show host, half-talk show host. In interviews during his career Bill (who had guest-hosted "The Tonight Show" a few times) expressed his distaste for the experience of hosting a talk show and said he didn't want to try it as a career; "The Love Experts" at least demonstrates that he would have been good at it. His interaction with the contestants is natural and free, and he obviously pays attention to the contestants's stories, which is often a failing of fledgling interviewers. Sure, he talked to contestants on game shows before this, but "The Love Experts" was different. Bill steps up to the challenge and shows himself a competent, not to mention very entertaining, interviewer.


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