INTERVIEW: Fox’s new dating show ‘Farmer Wants a Wife’ features former Atlantan Jennifer Nettles as host

Credit: FOX

Credit: FOX

Georgia native and Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles isn’t a fan of dating shows and can’t imagine being a participant.

But she was intrigued when offered a hosting gig on Fox’s new dating show “Farmer Wants a Wife,” debuting Wednesday, March 8, at 9 p.m. after “The Masked Singer.”

“This show is really about human connection,” Nettles said by phone this week from her home in New York City. “And I definitely love a good love story. These are real farmers and these are real women looking for real love.”

The concept is hardly new. It has aired in more than 30 countries and Fox claims the franchise has landed 180 marriages with 410 children. (The CW did try a show with the same title in 2008 but it only lasted a single season.)

The four male farmers (Ryan Black, Allen Foster, Hunter Grayson and Landon Heaton) reside in small towns in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Oklahoma respectively. All four are in their early 30s.

There will be barbecues, livestock, horseback riding and RV rides ― and possibly a few love connections.

“We shot all over the place,” Nettles said. “Texas. Florida. North Carolina. We did a rodeo, a barn dance and a demolition derby.”

Credit: FOX

Credit: FOX

The men each get the opportunity to meet eight women, some with city backgrounds, other more rural types.

“I get to meet more girls in one day than I have in the past five years,” said Landon at the start of the first episode.

Nettles’ role, she said, “was like a Fairy Godmother. I fly in and offer encouragement, guidance and support when they need it.”

She quickly became emotionally invested: “I was surprised how invested I got into it all. I got to know these folks and I was rooting for them to get the girl.”

Nettles, who left Atlanta in 2010, said her 20-year-old group Sugarland with Atlanta’s Kristian Bush will never break up but for now, they are pursuing their own projects.

She recently judged two seasons of TBS’s “The Go-Big Show,” featuring thrill acts, in Macon. She nabbed a role in an upcoming updated version of “The Exorcist” with Leslie Odom Jr. and Ellen Burstyn. She is recording an English/Spanish album with Hispanic artist Noel Schajris. And she is working on her own Broadway musical.

“At this point, I just like to keep doing things that excite and inspire me,” she said.


“Farmer Wants a Wife,” debuts Wednesday, March 8 at 9 p.m., available the next day on Hulu