Love stories are nothing new, and the romantic relationship between two (or more) people has been providing the subject matter in every dramatic medium since human beings began telling stories. Television is no exception, and romantic stories make up one of the most enduring and important genres of TV programming. Romance doesn't stay put in its own genre, though; as TV genres shift and evolve, romance is finding a place in practically every corner of the TV schedule.
One of the oldest forms of romantic drama on TV is the soap opera, a genre that devotes much of its energy to presenting the personal relationships between its characters - and love usually is one of the primary characteristics in those relationships. Although soap operas were originally relegated to the daytime TV schedule and targeted at housewives, the rise of the primetime soap in the 80s brought romance to nighttime audiences, too.
TV comedy was less accommodating to romance in the early days of TV, but at the end of the twentieth century and into the 2000s, sitcoms such as "Friends" and "How I Met Your Mother" made it fashionable to center their plots around love stories.
As reality programming has come to dominate cable TV over the past decade, romance has found its niche within the reality genre. Dating competition series like "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" found a way to incorporate the age-old tradition of romance with the contemporary hunger for unscripted series.