The short answer: Chris Coelen, the Kinetic Content CEO responsible for Love Is Blind, Married at First Sight and now The Ultimatum, is just super into reality dating series.
“We love the relationship space,” Coelen told E! News. “The idea that these shows are really relatable and really compelling and very real beyond whatever happens on the show, all of that is very attractive about producing in this genre.”
Now for the long answer. Sure, the concept may sound extreme—for three weeks, you and your signifcant other will each live with someone else from another pairing to get a glimpse at married life, before moving back in together for the final portion of filming—but it is actually an all-too-relatable situation for many viewers facing the Big C: commitment.
“Look, an ultimatum is a very relatable thing and the situation that the couples find themselves in is very relatable,” Coelen explained. “I think every person, I certainly have been, every person has been in a situation where you are in a relationship for a while and one of you or your partner is ready to get married and the other one isn’t quite as sure. I was the one who wasn’t quite as sure. Or you know people that have been in that situation and sometimes people feel like they want an answer.”
The experiment forces the hesitant partner to evaluate their excuses for putting off marriage, Coelen continued, saying that, at the end of the day, “It’s about am I willing to commit to you for the rest of my life? So starting off of that impulse and relatable idea, we felt like if you put a group of couples together who are all seriously thinking about getting married and all potentially questioning their relationship in the long-term, and allow them to choose one another based on things that they thought that they might want in their future, that’s going to be a really interesting window in a different possible future.”