FOX's 'More to Love': A dating show for non-hotties

Mikedarnell_mikefleiss_240 News item: FOX orders a dating show called "More to Love," in which a guy "with a big waist and an even bigger heart" on a romantic journey with "several confident and secure plus-size women." The show comes from "Bachelor" producer Mike Fleiss, who says it will give viewers "the right message about embracing and loving yourself no matter your shape or size."

Fleiss (the tall one in the pciture) and Mike Darnell, FOX's head of alternative programming, are saying all the right things about what they want their new collaboration to be -- it's a chance for the majority of us who aren't skinny, super-toned hotties to see people like ourselves in a romantic situation and the like. The fact that it will involve regular-looking people "makes it instantly relatable" to most of us, Darnell notes in a press release about the show.

But forgive me if I'm skeptical. These are, after all, the men who collaborated on "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" and gave us "Are You Hot?" (Fleiss) and "The Littlest Groom" and "Playing It Straight" (Darnell), so I'm really going to need some proof before I offer them any kudos for their inclusive and forward-thinking new project.

FOX tends to revel in the train-wreck aspects of its romance shows -- see "Married by America," the aforementioned "Littlest Groom" and "Mr. Personality," for starters. And despite having the likes of "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance" as the face of its reality brand now, a dark heart still beats there occasionally, as evidenced by the execrable "Moment of Truth."

Maybe Fleiss and Darnell will be true to what they're saying and "More to Love" (which will premiere later this year) will be no more exploitative than any other dating show. Maybe its tone won't be a condescending, "Aww, look at the nice husky guy trying to find love," or worse, a leering, "Check out fatty and his plus-sized ladies."

For those folks who end up being cast on "More to Love," I hope so.

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