Carmel Valley production company to hold auditions for dating show

Executive Producer Ken Gora. Courtesy photo

By Kristina Houck

A Carmel Valley company is producing a dating show that won’t be like other dating programs.

In addition to casting local contestants and filming in San Diego, men and women on “The Romance” won’t live in a mansion, fly to Bora Bora and propose by the end of the season.

“Real life is trying to find that special someone and date while you’re living the rest of your life,” said creator, executive producer and host Ken Gora, who heads production company Branded Entertainment. “It seems very unreal that cameras are following you everywhere in a mansion and you’re going on these dream dates and you’re laying by the swimming pool every day. Gee, I could fall in love with a grizzly bear in those circumstances.”

In six, 30-minute episodes, “The Romance” will follow six men and 16 women on a variety of dates. Ranging in age from 24 to 44, all of the contestants won’t look like models, Gora said.

“The reason why San Diego will tune into this program is because we think following men and women who live in the city — that [viewers] may have worked with or may run into at Starbucks — has a more local appeal to them than watching women from Nashville, Dallas and Washington, D.C. trying to meet one man,” said Gora, a Carmel Valley resident.

“The Romance” will premiere on Nov. 12. Courtesy photo

Although the show is intended to entertain audiences and help contestants find love and romance, it’s also to bring new customers and revenue to some of San Diego’s local businesses.

With a doctorate in psychology and a background in recruitment, Gora launched his first local reality TV show, “So You Think You Can Sell,” in February. The show, which he described as a cross between “American Idol” and “The Apprentice,” featured local companies to help support small businesses and stimulate the local economy.

“The Romance” will also feature more than 40 local businesses, restaurants and venues, including Sbicca in Del Mar, Mia Francesca in Carmel Valley, Kuki Squared in Rancho Santa Fe, and Crush in Solana Beach.

“I think people will find it entertaining,” Gora said. “By tuning in, you’ll also discover some great San Diego businesses and support our local economy. The show will help our audience discover new things.”

“The Romance” will premiere at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12, on San Diego’s Channel Four, through both Cox and Time Warner Cable providers. Auditions will be held on Oct. 11 and 12 at The Grand Del Mar, 5300 Grand Del Mar Court, San Diego.

For more information about “The Romance,” visit