The ongoing public health situation has halted production on more than a handful of TV shows and movies – and The Bachelor franchise is no exception to this.
Warner Bros. confirmed last month that production on the new season of The Bachelorette, starring Clare Crawley and was slated to premiere May 18 on ABC, had been postponed.
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In a recent interview with Variety, ABC Senior Vice President of Alternative Programming Robb Mills gave an update on where the franchise stands in terms of production. The exec confirmed that Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette “is happening one hundred percent,” and that the only undefined thing is when exactly they will be able to safely begin production.
“If I’m being realistic, it would probably be mid-summer that we start,” Mill said, adding that The Bachelorette would likely be ready to air this fall.
The Bachelorette has also decided to drop the idea of international travel for Crawley’s season, which will be confined within one large location that has yet to be determined. According to the outlet, road trips might be considered, but only if deemed safe and in-line with the social distancing rules that are in place this summer.
“We’ve looked at everything — are travel restrictions going to ease up? And it just doesn’t look like anything is changing anytime soon, and what we would rather do is start getting the season underway, sooner rather than later,” Mills said. “As of right now, the plan is to get a great location that has a ton of space where everybody could safely be together and we can still have great dates that still feel big and romantic, and we would shoot the entire season there.”
It’s unclear at this time how production will go about the hometown date specials given the special circumstances: “All of this is still being figured out,” Mills said.
Naturally, the season itself will likely change its formula as a result of the public health situation.
“When people talk about reopening America, I think people freak out,” longtime host Chris Harrison told Variety. “Even in our communities, if they said you could go to restaurants and bars tomorrow, I think we’d all be a little bit weary, so, it’s going to be a little bit different. I’m sure for Clare and the men she’s dating, it’s going to be a little bit different. We’ll have to lean into that a little bit, but hopefully not too much.”
Production on Bachelor in Paradise, which shoots in Mexico and typically premieres on ABC in August, is also being affected by the ongoing health situation. At this point, a new season of the spinoff seems unlikely. That being said, according to Variety, ABC would be open to airing the show during a different time-frame in the year if they are able to produce a new season of Bachelor in Paradise.
“We’re certainly discussing it and how it could work and if it could work, but we want to make sure that the next season of The Bachelor stays on track because that’s something that everybody looks forward to at the beginning of the year,” Mills said. “The goal is to make sure we absolutely have Bachelorette and Bachelor, and then, if there’s a way to do Bachelor in Paradise, we would love to do it.”
“It does seem extremely unlikely, as far as going to Mexico,” Harrison said.
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