Fun fact: no networks originally wanted the show.
"It was something like International Love, but that was not the title because that's a terrible title, and we brought around the show. It was going to chronicle Americans who have met people online as they visited these international relationships," executive producer Matt Sharp told Kate Casey on her podcast, Reality Life with Kate Casey. "We went around town to all the different networks…all of the female networks looked at the pitch and thought it felt too male, and all the male networks thought it felt too female."
After going back to the drawing board, they decided to make it a male-skewing show, re-titling it "Bachelor Wars: Russia." The idea would be following men going abroad to meet women. Still, the male networks didn't bite, so they then decided to rework it and knew they had their show when they learned of the K-1 visa process and the 90 day time-frame limitations. "Thank you television format gods!" Sharp said.
But then it got rejected. Again. The project seemed dead, until Sharp met with his friend, who happened to be an executive at TLC who had never heard the pitch. After watching the reel, his friend was in. And the rest is history.