Mark Philippousis Is Taking On All Comers, Young And Not-So-Young
By Christopher Rocchio
If you think 31-year-old professional tennis player Mark Philippoussis will automatically set his sights on the younger women vying for his affection on NBC's new Age of Love reality dating series, executive producer and creator JD Roth said think again.
"Everyone's going to assume, 'Oh I know, of course you're going for the younger women,'" Roth told reporters during a Friday conference call. "But I would say to you, 'Don't assume anything.' What happens definitely surprised us."
Scheduled to premiere Monday, June 18 at 10PM ET on NBC, Age of Love will follow Philippoussis as he he's courted by two groups of women, the "Kittens" and the "Cougars." Age of Love's Kittens will feature six young, enthusiastic women in their 20's who could probably better keep-up with Philippoussis' fast-paced lifestyle, while the Cougars will consist of seven women in their 40's who are more sophisticated and thus probably better equipped to deal with his fame as a tennis pro.
"Before we started the show, he made it very clear to me that if we were looking for a guy who was going to kiss every girl, then it wasn't him," Roth said of Philippoussis. "[He said], 'You have to really understand what you're getting when you get me. I'm really here to find someone I can fall in love with. I'm going to do this journey whether it's with you guys or not.' This is obviously before he knew the twist of the show, and he said, 'So if that's the guy you're looking for, it's not me.'"
It looks like the term “Cougar” has jumped the shark or hit critical mass. If NBC has a show in which half of the competitors are called cougars (coo- gaires in French) then chances are the word is too mainstream to be cool. The idea for the show is pretty good though. If 32 is the new 21 and 40 is the new 28, it’s entirely possible that age is losing most of its relevance. Mark Philippoussis is a name we haven’t heard much lately. Hopefully, he’ll find love on the show cuz he ain’t winning any single’s titles any time soon.