Rob Mills, SVP, Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming, ABC Entertainment, told Deadline that The Bachelor will start production at the end of September with a view to airing in January as per previous years.
While the show will run on a similar timeline to previous seasons – the last 12 seasons of the show began airing at the start of the new year, production will be in a pandemic-proof bubble, similar to The Bachelorette, to ensure that one of its biggest non-scripted series can get on the air.
Mills said he was buoyed by the fact that The Bachelorette, which wrapped on September 1, was able to finish production without any COVID-19 related incidents.
“Right before we started, around July 4, as excited as everyone was to get it started, we’d heard about other productions that had had outbreaks even in a bubble and had to shut down. So, for us, starting was not the victory, it was the finish. The fact that it’s in the can and we have an entire season of The Bachelorette that will air is fantastic. It’s a big deal to have all of our signature shows on this fall,” he said.
Although there were no off-screen health and safety issues, this season of The Bachelorette promises to throw up a few surprises. Clare Crawley is thought to have been replaced Tayshia Adams during filming after finding love.
Next up for Mills and his team is Matt James and his season of The Bachelor. In June, ABC revealed that James would head the 2021 version of the reality dating format and would become the show’s first Black romantic lead.
Mills said The Bachelor would follow a similar production set-up employed on The Bachelorette.
But he added that he can’t wait for these signature shows to be able to get back out on the road to some extent once it’s safe. “Nothing would make us happier than being able to go back and start traveling on location with these shows,” he added.
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are both produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton, Nicole Woods, Bennett Graebner, Peter Gust, Tim Warner, Louis Caric and Peter Geist are executive producers across both shows.