In a world of dating double standards and ageism, TV Land is going where no dating show has gone before with its latest reality competition series, The Cougar.
The Cougar (premiering Wednesday, 10 pm/ET) brings together 20 attractive men — all in their 20s — who compete for the heart of a beautiful, 40-year-old woman, Stacey Anderson (the cougar). In the eight-part series, which comes from the executive producers behind The Bachelor, the potential lovers go through a series of challenges to capture the heart of Anderson, a successful realtor and mother of four from Scottsdale, Ariz.
"Baby boomers are growing up," host Vivica A. Fox told TVGuide.com at the show's premiere party in New York City on Tuesday. "Women are still feeling sexy, they're taking care of themselves, they look fantastic. I don't know why [people] think when a women turns 40, which is actually her prime, she still doesn't want to get her groove on. I just don't get it!"
Coming off a highly buzzed season of The Bachelor, Fox is convinced the show is just what audiences are looking for. "[The success of reality dating shows] shows the times America is in right now," she said. "They want to escape with romance and drama. It's like a live soap opera and they always feel like they're a part of it because it's with everyday [people]."
Fox, who is single, hopes the show will stop any stigma attached to dating younger men. "I am confident about who I am, what I need from a relationship, and I don't need society passing judgment on who shares time with me," she says in press materials for the show. "The Cougar challenges society's gender bias and will open the eyes of many women who thought dating younger men just doesn't work."
What do you think of the new dating show concept?