‘5th Wheel’ rolling on

Aug 5, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Universal Television’s rookie dating strip, “The 5th Wheel,” will go without its driver in season two.
Host Aisha Tyler will depart the series to pursue a movie career as the distributor fine-tunes the series for its sophomore go-round. Next season, participants of the reality dating series will tell their stories sans host, using voiceovers and interviews designed to increase the drama and suspense of the series.
“Without commentary, in-depth story lines can be better developed around all five characters in the half-hour format,” said Universal President Steve Rosenberg. “As a result, the viewer will be more invested in each character’s experiences and dramatic journey through the story arc.”
Other changes for the upcoming season include offering glimpses of where participants went right and wrong on their dates. In its freshman season, “The 5th Wheel” has earned a 1.4 household rating with a 0.9 season average in adults 18 to 49 and a 1.0 among adults 18 to 34. Most recently, the series earned a 1.4 rating, which marks a 40 percent increase over the show’s debut.
“With a year of `The 5th Wheel’ under our belt, it was clear to us that it will be a smoother show without interruptions,” said David Garfinkle, the show’s executive producer. “I’m a big fan of Aisha. She’s incredibly talented, and we wish her well in her endeavors.”
This change isn’t the only one within the syndicated genre. Earlier, Telepictures confirmed that Chris Jagger would be returning to “Change of Heart,” replacing Lynn Koplitz.
Additionally, Twentieth’s new relationship series “Extreme Dating,” hosted by Jillian Barberie, debuted in a number of markets for a slow rollout, scoring a 2.2 rating and 4 share in its first three days on the air. The strip earned a 2.0/4 in households in New York, a 2.4/5 in Los Angeles, a 2.5/4 in Washington and performed best in Houston, snagging a 4.5/8. Stations in Minneapolis, Phoenix, Orlando, Fla., and Baltimore also aired the show.