Each single goes through a three-act process. In Act I, he or she listens to pitches from four contestants who tout their good qualities.
“I’m going to let them build themselves up in the first act,” said Schulz, of New York, in a phone interview.
In Act II, Schulz brings up the contestants’ social media accounts to “dig up the dirt” on them.
Act III forces contestants to “admit embarrassing details” when confronted with their social media evidence.
In one episode, for example, Schulz said a guy ‘fesses up to wearing Scooby Doo underwear.
But it’s not all embarrassing.
Schulz noted a moment from the show when a male contestant admitted he liked Medieval-style live-action role-playing games, and the girl reacted with delight because she was into Renaissance fairs.
“Some of that stuff is adorable,” Schulz said. “We’re trying to show you who somebody really is before you go out on a date.”
If the single chooses one of the contestants to go out with, Schulz said the show will send them on a “really sick date” in Hollywood including awesome restaurants, clubs and shows.
For Schulz, the thrill of the fast-paced, unscripted show is jabbing contestants.
“I just want people’s good dirt,” Schulz said. “When I agreed to do the show, [I said], ‘I’ve gotta be able to roast them.’”
He said the show should connect well with audiences because using the Internet to vet potential dates is commonplace — and effective.
“It’s like Yelp for dating,” he said. “There’s a review of your guy right there.”
Schulz said he doesn’t expect “The Hook Up” to compete with other shows that involve a social media aspect such as “Catfish” because his show focuses on using social media to vet love interests before feelings develop.
“This show is almost like how to not get catfished,” he said. “Before you get to the love stage, I want to show you who they are.”
A version of this story ran on page 7 on 10/17/2013 under the headline "The good, the bad and the Facebook stalkers find love"