EXCLUSIVE: UK broadcaster Channel 5 is bringing back The Bachelor for a second date. The Viacom-owned network broke up with the Warner Bros-owned dating format in 2012 after two seasons but is rekindling its romance as it looks to find a competitor for ITV2’s Love Island.
Deadline understands that Warner Bros-owned Ricochet is producing the revamped entertainment to air next year. The ten-part series will start filming in South Africa in the autumn.
The show revolves around a single eligible bachelor and a pool of romantic interest. There are a number of conflicts in the elimination series, which sees the bachelor go on large group dates as well as one-on-one dates and two-on-one dates. Finally, the bachelor goes on a series of home-town visits to meet the families of the final four women followed by overnight dates in exotic locations before whittling it down to one winner.
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The latest British version was commissioned by C5’s Sean Doyle and exec produced by Ricochet’s Emma Walsh.
The spin-off of the Warner Horizon Television-produced series, Bachelor in Paradise, is currently airing on ABC after the original finished its 22nd season earlier this year.
In the UK, it initially aired on BBC Three between 2003 and 2005 before being revamped by Channel 5, then owned by controversial media mogul Richard Desmond for two celebrity-fronted seasons. Rugby star Gavin Henson, possibly most famous for his relationship with singer Charlotte Church, and Spencer Matthews, star of E4 reality series Made In Chelsea were the eligible bachelors.
C5’s Director of Programmes Ben Frow is looking to find younger audiences and is thought to believe that The Bachelor can help. Speaking at the recent Edinburgh International TV Festival he admitted that there’s a “big quest” to snare audiences aged 16-34.
The Bachelor is likely to be C5’s big entertainment bet for 2019 as stalwart Big Brother comes to an end on the channel. Frow admitted that the contract for the Endemol Shine format runs out at the end of this year. “I have planned for a year without Big Brother – never say never because the world is constantly changing and I think it would be irresponsible to not keep all options open but at the moment, I’m planning for a year without Big Brother.”
In recent years, Channel 5 has favoured factual entertainment shows and documentary series over splashy entertainment series. However, last year it brought back classic British dating format Blind Date, recently launched Gino’s Win Your Wish List, a gameshow starring the celebrity chef and next week will launch Undercover Girlfriends from ITV-owned Twofour.
The broadcaster, which has traditionally had lower budgets than its terrestrial rivals, has recently received a funding boost for content from owner Viacom. Frow said that it is looking at its programming tariffs and is likely to increase these across the schedule.
“I’ll never say no to a project if I really want it because I can afford it, it just means that I might not be able to do as much across the schedule. If we’re going to continue to grow, we’re going to have to invest more in programmes,” he said at Edinburgh. “In fairness to Viacom, we had a bit of a thing at the beginning of the year where I’d spent a lot of money and then I went and spent some more money and they went and found a bit more money to pay back what I’d spent.”
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