Development of elderly Chinese dating TV program for “relational transformation”

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Jiequn Wang
Prapas Nuannet


Dating TV program becomes a popular entertainment closely related to the evolution of family structures and the elderly’s emotional needs. The research explores the characteristics of Chinese audiences to dating TV program, conclude the failure and success factors, and propose the format of dating TV program suitable for the elderly. The research uses comparative analysis on related documents, an interview with the experts in dating TV programs, and questionnaire survey on the program audiences. Findings of the audience’s preferences are that, for single guests, having relationship of family members and rich life skills, and, for program contents, avoiding expression of intimate relationships among single guests, showing interactive activities based on everyday life practices, and choosing the outdoor dating location. The most preferable advantage is that dating TV programs can improve their social isolation and loneliness in elderly life. The other finding is the failures including performative and superficial setting for single guests, hasty decision due to speed dating, lack of truthful information, and too commercial and stylized advice from observation guests. Key success factors of dating TV programs for the elderly are audience motivation for relational transformation, target audience, program format, emotional needs, life story of guests, and role of the host. Final format of dating TV program for Chinese elderly is contributed to 5 attributes; meet social and emotional needs, provide diversified and attractive contents, touch their real-life problems, open for audience participation, and integrate Chinese traditional cultures into the program content.

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