ABC extends 'Bachelor' party with special

Hourlong episode to follow reality series' 'shocking' finale

"Bachelor" fans, get ready for more drama.

With the relationship series blazing in the ratings for ABC this season, the network has ordered a one-hour special to air the day after the finale.

The events in the show's regular three-hour conclusion are dramatic enough to warrant an additional hour, creator Mike Fleiss said.

"It's going to be shocking," Fleiss said. "The end of this series is the best we've every had."

"Bachelor" normally airs a one-hour reunion special called "After the Final Rose." Last year, the reunion actually drew a bigger rating than the finale itself, an unusual occurrence in the reality universe.

On March 3, ABC will air the tentatively titled "After the Final Rose: Part 2," including additional interviews with bachelor Jason Mesnick, the woman he chose and the woman he didn't pick.

Now in its 13th edition, Fleiss and Warner Horizon's "The Bachelor" is defying ratings gravity by growing its numbers nearly every episode. Season-to-date, "The Bachelor" is averaging 10.1 million viewers and a 3.7 rating among adults 18-49. That's up 28% in the adult demo compared with the same point last year; the show also is drawing its largest audience in nearly five years.

Fans have responded to Mesnick and his young son, and having a single dad as the bachelor has brought new elements to the show's narrative. Although not officially renewed, Fleiss is confident "Bachelor" will return and is working on its creative for next year.

"I can't think of more than a handful of shows that have reversed a downward ratings trend like we have," Fleiss said.

And given Mesnick's popularity, Fleiss didn't rule out the possibility of viewers seeing him again.

"Maybe we'll do a wedding special," Fleiss said. "The couple seems pretty happy."
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