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How ‘Labor of Love’ Producers Found Kristy Katzmann Her Perfect Man/Sperm Donor

Anne Walls, Spike Van Briesen and Laurie Girion tell TheWrap about creating a reality dating series that ”raises the stakes“

Former “Bachelor” contestant Kristy Katzmann begins her new reality-dating-series journey Thursday on Fox’s “Labor of Love,” a show that follows the 41-year-old as she auditions 15 potential suitors who are hoping to be the man of her dreams and the father of her future children.

The premise for the new series — which, as Fox puts it “levels up dating to mating” — required the executive producers to work within some more narrow parameters during the casting process, not just seeking out partners who would be good husbands (or good reality TV stars), but those who would be good parents too.

Though “good” here was first and foremost defined by Kristy.

“We wanted to know what Kristy was looking for and so we worked from a guideline she was giving us, but we also had scouts all over the country looking for men that may be the right match for Kristy,” “Labor of Love” executive producer Spike Van Briesen of Propagate Content told TheWrap. “So that took a long time for us to do. And I think we did a really good job of finding men that absolutely Kristy would want to meet, but then we also had Kristy answer questions about what are some of the things she wasn’t thinking about inside a relationship with a man. And she answered those questions and we found those men as well. All of the men who are brought onto the show, they all have careers, they are well-established, they know what they want in life — but they’re not all cut from the same cloth. And I think that gave us great variety for not only Kristy to have different conversations, but for the men to have different conversations with each other.”

Full Picture’s Anne Walls says finding Kristy’s 15 was “truly like an embarrassment of riches.”

“When we set out, we said we’re gonna find the perfect guy. We found too many! We had to really hone and narrow down the best 15, but we had a wonderful group of guys to pull from,” Walls said. “You’ll see as the show progresses too, the way they interact with each other is not really something we’ve seen before, because of all these ingredients going into it, because they’re a little older, because they’re all established, because they all have the same goal of really becoming dads. And it ended up, and Laurie [Girion, executive producer from Propagate] says this always, they have their own bromance.”

Hosted by “Sex and the City” alum Kristin Davis, “Labor of Love” will follow Katzmann over “eight weeks of intuitive and hilarious challenges, breathtakingly romantic dates and some heartwarming, yet borderline awkward gestures from the men,” and end with her deciding if she has found the man she wants to marry and start a family with, or if she wants to become a mother on her own.

Production on the show wrapped ahead of the pandemic, so there is definitely an answer ready and waiting for viewers to find out — though of course the producers aren’t talking.

“Now would we tell you that, really? Good try though!” Girion said, when we asked if Kristy picked a man and is expecting right now.

But Girion did hint that the men had a few twists in the process.

“There are people that you can think will be a great father and you’re not attracted to them and people you’re very attracted to who you don’t think will be a good parent, totally. And that’s something that makes our show so different and you’ll see that play out in the episodes, that up and down,” Girion said. “It’s difficult to find that person that you fall in love with and you wanna have kids with and then you are glad that you fell in love and will have kids with this person. It’s interesting to watch Kristy test that duality in her relationship with all the men.”

The producers are hoping Kristy isn’t the only one who gets something — or a few things, if a baby is on the way — good out of “Labor of Love,” as the show is designed to spark discussions about fertility.

“It really raises the stakes. In other shows, you see if people are going to be compatible, you see if they’re a good match, you see if they have the right chemistry. I think in this, the stakes are raised a lot more because Kristy and the men aren’t just thinking about them, they are thinking about a partnership and a family,” Van Briesen said. “And I think that conversation comes through and I think it’s a really great conversation and a really fun conversation, but there are a lot of stakes in that conversation, which I think is different. And I think people will have a discussion as they’re watching it and say, ‘I haven’t been thinking about that, I want to be thinking about that,’ and we hope to inspire that people do start thinking about those things.”

“Labor of Love” premieres Thursday at 9/8c on Fox.