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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, August 30, 2001

'Blind Date,' 'Last Resort' to film Hawai'i segments

By Adrienne Ancheta
Advertiser Staff Writer

Two TV shows filming in Hawai'i this fall may help add blind dates and relationship rehabilitation to tourists' reasons to visit the Islands.

The popular syndicated show "Blind Date" and a new reality-based show called "Last Resort" are scheduled to film several episodes in Hawai'i. The premise of both shows is to ignite romance — in newly introduced strangers in "Blind Date," seen here on ABC affiliates; and in longtime couples on the verge of breaking up in ABC's "Last Resort."

"I think both shows will showcase a lot of what (Hawai'i) has in terms of travel," said Big Island film commissioner Marilyn Killeri.

"Blind Date," which features two couples in each half-hour show, will film 10 episodes here: Oct. 22-26 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island, and Oct. 29-Nov. 3 at the Royal Lahaina Hotel on Maui. The episodes may air in November or February.

"Last Resort" begins filming in mid-September at the Kona Village on the Big Island. A preliminary episode was shot there in May, and ABC picked it up for a pilot, which is expected to run on daytime television on an unspecified date. If it is picked up by the network, 40 episodes will be shot over 39 weeks on the Big Island. The Buena Vista-owned show follows four couples each week in their attempts to stay together.

Laurence Mountcastle, director of sales and marketing at the Kona Village, said the hotel's peaceful atmosphere pairs well with the thoughtful dialogue the show wants to foster.

There are economic benefits to the partnership as well. Besides bringing Mainland participants and production staff to Hawai'i, "Blind Date" is expected to make generous use of product placements, and both shows are expected to hire some local production staff.

"They understand that part of coming is helping promote the Islands," said Maui film commissioner Amy Kastens. The three-year-old "Blind Date" has received a larger than normal response to its Los Angeles auditions for the Hawai'i segments, she said.

The hotels say they are happy to host the shows because of their promotional value. Though "Blind Date" does not target the Hilton Waikoloa's middle-age demographic, "We tried to do what we could to help the County of Hawai'i," said Vicky Kometani, the hotel's manager of marketing and public relations.

Tapings for both shows are expected to be closed to the public, but residents still may get a taste of the action if auditions for participants are held here, a possibility for both shows, according to Killeri.