As all of the major networks are now in the midst of a brand-new season, Fox is, once again, trying to push the envelope with its programming. The network's newest reality series, "Special Love," is a prime example of this.
Focusing on George Holmes, a 32 year-old mentally handicapped grocery store employee from Sarasota, Florida, "Special Love" is part "Dating Game," part "The Bachelor" and part After-School Special.
Over the course of the show's thirteen week season (which starts this Friday on FOX- check your local listings), Holmes will meet twelve single, mentally handicapped bachelorettes. Each episode will focus on George's interaction with the girls as he takes them to the movies, to the zoo, bowling, and out to dinner at places like Shoney's and The Ground Round.
According to Richie Steinbaum, an Associate Producer for the show, viewers will be surprised and even shocked by what they see in some episodes.
"Most people just assume that because George is mentally handicapped he isn't capable of being much of a ladies' man," Steinbaum stated. "The truth is, George has got game and he knows what he's doing with these girls. And they all love him. I can't give away details, but you will see some tears being shed each week as George has to send home some of these girls."
Already, there is controversy and buzz surrounding "Special Love." One episode in particular has various protest groups up in arms as it features George and three of the bachelorettes partaking in a drunken orgy in a hot tub at a local hotel Best Western.
"That was all George," insists Steinbaum. "He arranged for the hotel room on his own, bought the wine coolers himself where he works, and somebody at the hotel tipped off the crew. George left the door to the room open, the camera crew went in the suite and watched the action unfold."
Other episodes combine heartwarming moments (such as the pilot, which features George taking two of the bachelorettes to a petting zoo) with downright strange and bizarre incidents (Episode Two finds George nearly getting into a fight at a biker bar after singing a karaoke medley of "Judas Priest" songs).
As George Holmes refuses to give interviews until the end of the season, he was not available to comment. He did, however, release a statement regarding "Special Love," saying that being part of the series was "fun" and that he is quite confident that viewers will see him as "television's first special sex symbol."
There is no word yet if "Special Love" will be picked up for a second season, but executives from Fox insist that it is "quite likely."
"Special Love" premieres on Fox this Friday.