Game Shows Wiki
Mark L. Walberg
The Big Date.png
USA Network (Daily): 6/17/1996 – 9/19/1997
Lighthearted Entertainment


"The French call it amour, the Italians amore we call it love but its more than a word you guys. It's when a man and a woman find one another usually on this stage and then go on The Big Date!"

The Big Date was a short-lived USA Network dating show where swinging singles tried to hookup with the opposite sex and answered questions.


Main Game[]

Round 1[]

One bachelor/bachelorette chose one of three members of the opposite sex to try & hook up with. Host Walberg asked up to three questions to the potential couple, all of which have two choices marked "A" or "B". They made their choice individually by pressing a button corresponding to one of those letters (in earlier episodes, there were hands marked with those letters). The objective was to match their answers and it took two matches to become a couple. If the possible couple mis-matched twice or didn't ring in at all twice, they sat back at their own chairs. Along the way, one player could stay with the current possible mate, trade one possible mate for another, or could choose to take whoever was behind a door on either side of the set. Sometimes when choosing the door, out would come Bert Dinkel (in case of the guy, he became Fern Dinkel); if that happened, that player was out of the game and another player stepped in. As soon as two players made the two matches, they became a couple and they moved on to Round 2. As soon as two couples were formed, that's when Round 2 began.

Round 2: Me or Not Me[]

The two formed couples played the next round to see who was more compatible than the other. Host Walberg read a series of statements in which the answers were always either "Me" or "Not Me". A typical question would go like this: "Me or Not Me, I've eaten a bug." or like this "Me or Not Me, I never got along with my parents." Like in the first round, the idea was to match answers with each other and the couple with the most matches won the game and advanced to the bonus round.

Bonus Round[]

In the bonus round, host Walberg read true/false questions to the winning couple and each correct answer won $50.

The bonus went through two different formats in it's year plus long run.

Format #1[]

In the first format, Mark read six true/false statements about the mates & their behaviors (three for each mate), the mates themselves replied to those questions before the show. Then it was up to the partner to guess if the statement was either true or false. After the partner gave his/her answer, the mate whom the question was about announced the answer he/she gave beforehand. A correct match earned the couple $50 (for a maximum total of $300) and matching on at least four questions invited the couple back on Friday's show for a trip to Jamaica.

Friday Jamaica Drawing[]

On Friday shows, the couples who made the required four matches were entered in a drawing. Their names were put into a hat and whichever couple's names were drawn first won the Jamaican vacation.

Format #2[]

In this bonus format, host Walberg gave statements about dating. Some were real facts, some were from opinion polls, others were just made up. On each statement, the couple decided whether the statement was either true or false. Each correct answer was worth $50 and if the couple got six right in 60 seconds or less they won $300 and a trip.


  • The Big Date was paired in the afternoon & evening with another (and more popular) dating show Love Connection.
  • The show featured various future celebrities such as Jon Hamm[1][2], Susan Powter & Hank Steinberg.


Hollywood Center Studios, Hollywood, California


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Official Website (via Internet Archive)
Official USA Network site (via Internet Archive)
The Games of Love Page: The Big Date
Official Pearson site for The Big Date (via Internet Archives)

YouTube Link[]

Full Episodes of The Big Date