Surprisingly (or not), some people thought that was a dreadful idea. "I'd rather stab myself in the eye with a thousand tiny needles than be in the same room as an ex," wrote one commenter on Seven's casting page on Facebook.

"Take me to Venice, stick us in a gondola so I can drown him and make it look like an accident," wrote another.

Erik and Lauren, one of the former couples who decide to give it another go on Back With the Ex.

Photo: SEVEN

"Getting back with an ex is like trying to shove a turd back where it came from," a third noted. "The one that got away did so for a reason. Flush the toilet and move on."

Sage advice, perhaps, but the networks won't be following it any time soon. Though they've been burnt by some relationship shows (The Last Resort, anyone? Kiss Bang Love?), they'll keep going back there in the hope of finding true ratings love.

When it works, it's spectacular. Nine has just enjoyed a blockbuster season of Married at First Sight and its after-show dissection Talking Married was a surprise smash too, the final episode drawing more than 300,000 viewers, the biggest audience ever for its digital channel Nine Life.

Date Night – basically Tinder for television (it even came with its own app) – wasn't anywhere near so successful, but Nine is hoping it's onto a winner with its local remake of the super-trashy UK series Love Island, with Sophie Monk hosting. In a bold move, it is putting the youth-skewing show on Go! rather than its main channel.

Scandal, infidelity and terrible matches shocked the 'experts' and propelled Married at First Sight to its best ever ratings.

Over on Ten, where Monk's search for love (or new sponsorship deals) played out last year, the Bachelor franchise will have three outings – Bachelor in Paradise (now airing), The Bachelor, and Monk's alma mater The Bachelorette.

Also joining the line-up is the Julia Morris-hosted Blind Date, the local version of a UK format that first aired in the 1980s and was successfully revived last year.

(In a neat twist, Blind Date was based on Perfect Match, which first aired on Ten in 1984; Perfect Match was itself based on the American show The Dating Game, which first aired in 1965.)

In short, there will be so much looking for love and salvaging of relationships on our TV screens this year that singles bars and couples therapists might be in for a seriously tough time.

Love it or hate it, TV romance is set to blossom for a good while yet.

Facebook: karlquinnjournalist Podcast: The Clappers Twitter: @karlkwin

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Karl Quinn

Karl has been a journalist at Fairfax Media since 1999, in a variety of writing and editing roles. Karl writes about popular culture with a particular focus on film and television.

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