Typically, a bachelorette would question three bachelors, who were hidden from her view; at the end of the questioning period, she would choose one to go out with on a date paid for by the show.

Occasionally, the roles would be reversed with a man questioning three ladies; other times, a celebrity would question three players for a date for themselves or for a co-worker or a relative of theirs.

This format saw the players choose a potential date based on how good they looked and another based on personality.

To determine the "looks" portion, the bachelor/bachelorette observed their potential dates (another change not seen on any Dating Game series beforehand) for several seconds; the three players wore noise-cancelling headphones so they could not hear what the bachelor/bachelorette was saying about them and they identified by numbers.

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The same question could be asked to multiple bachelors. The bachelorette would make her choice based solely on the answers to her questions.

Occasionally, the contestant was a bachelor who would ask questions to three bachelorettes.This was especially true when the two shows entered syndication; in fact, in 1996 the revivals of both The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game were sold as a package called "The Dating-Newlywed Hour".The program was originally broadcast in black-and-white, but when a prime-time version began in October 1966, both it and the daytime version were broadcast in color; the daytime version thus became the first ABC daytime series to be broadcast in color on a regular basis.ABC dropped the show on July 6, 1973, but it continued in syndication for another year (1973–1974) as The New Dating Game.The program was revived three additional times in syndication afterwards.Instead of asking questions of their potential date, the bachelor/bachelorette was presented with two pun-laden statements, each pertaining to one of the potential dates.

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