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'Bachelor Canada' coming to Citytv this fall

TORONTO - Wanted: 25 single, sincere Canadian women who want to take an "incredibly unique and glamorous journey to find true love," and one fetching Canuck guy who will lead them on that adventure — with a basket of red roses in tow.

TORONTO - Wanted: 25 single, sincere Canadian women who want to take an "incredibly unique and glamorous journey to find true love," and one fetching Canuck guy who will lead them on that adventure — with a basket of red roses in tow.

Such was the call Monday as Citytv announced it's looking for participants for a Canadian version of the hit American reality dating series "The Bachelor" that will launch on the network this fall.

"We're not looking for an archetype or a certain stereotype of character, or someone that's going to come in and cause trouble. We want (bachelorettes) who want this genuine and real search," said Sean DeVries, head of factual entertainment at Vancouver-based Force Four Entertainment and supervising producer for "The Bachelor Canada."

"When it comes to the bachelor ... he has to be better looking than the husband sitting beside you on the couch. He's got to be a pretty good looking guy, but he's also got to be dynamic and on a sincere search as well."

Producers said their first priority is to find Canadian bachelorettes who want to find a potential husband on the nine-episode series, a search that began Monday at Citytv.com.

DeVries said they "have some great leads on potential" bachelors and will consider making their search wider in the next few weeks.

As with the American version of "The Bachelor," candidates can come from all walks of life, noted Chris Harrison, host of the U.S. series that's into its 16th season.

"Really, they've run the gamut. Women, too, and so that's really what you're looking for is that everyday guy that will pop, have that charisma, charm," Harrison said in an interview at the downtown Rogers Media studio.

"And yes, professional, you know — you don't want that show, 'This is My Son, Please Take Him, He's a Bum.' They've got to offer something. You want that competitive spirit."

He also has to realize that his nationally broadcasted quest to find ever-lasting love may not turn out that way.

The success rate for the relationships formed on "The Bachelor" franchise — which also includes "The Bachelorette" and "Bachelor Pad" — is low, with only a handful of its couples still together (Harrison said they include Trista and Ryan Sutter, Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney, and Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum).

"The show doesn't promise (a solid union), it's just the hope that it will end up (that way)," said Harrison.

The risk the bachelor takes in potentially falling for someone who's only on the show for fame or superficial reasons is one that also exists in real life, added Harrison.

"In real life, if you meet somebody at a bar, church, temple, wherever, you have to figure out — does this girl want me for my money? Does she use me for my good looks and my abs? Is this guy using me for my whatever? You always have to ask those questions."

The American "Bachelor" franchise has already featured several Canadians. They include Vancouver-based interior designer Jillian Harris; Ottawa-bred former football player Jesse Palmer; Oakville, Ont.-born actress Jessie Sulidis; and Toronto wrestler Justin Rego.

Shooting for "The Bachelor Canada" is slated to take place over seven or eight weeks in the spring.

Producers said the show will travel to "iconic Canadian destinations."

On Monday, fans took to Twitter to muse on potential Canuck elements for the homegrown version, like using hockey pucks instead of the signature roses that the bachelor hands to his love interests.

"We've heard pucks, beer, a moose head," said Harrison.

That likely won't happen, though, said DeVries.

"We want to hold true to the franchise as well," he said. "Almost everything is right about it. It is such a big success so you don't want to go in and start tinkering if you don't need to."

A host for "The Bachelor Canada" has not been announced although producers say he or she will be Canadian.

Harrison joked that he might make a cameo.

"I might just pop up in a hot tub, in my suit and tie, just stand up: 'Good to see you guys,' and just go back down and disappear," he quipped.

Claire Freeland, director of Original Programming at Rogers Media and executive producer of "The Bachelor Canada," said it's only now that the time is right to bring the franchise north of the border.

"It's not just about having the great idea but knowing that you have the right people who can make the show and honour the integrity of what the show is and what the show means and what people are familiar with here," she said.



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