10:15am PT by Jackie Strause
'Bachelor in Paradise' Renewed for Season 6 at ABC
ABC is heading back to Paradise this summer.
Bachelor in Paradise has been renewed for a sixth season, the network announced ahead of its turn at the Television Critics Association's press tour Tuesday.
The summer dating series and spinoff of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette will return summer of 2019. Though a premiere date has not been announced, the series typically airs in August. Veteran franchise host Chris Harrison will return to greet a new cast of singles — who will be plucked primarily from Becca Kufrin's 2018 season of The Bachelorette and Colton Underwood's currently airing season of The Bachelor — when they return to the show's resident Playa Escondida beach resort in Sayulita, Mexico.
Bachelor in Paradise reunites memorable castoffs from previous Bachelor and Bachelorette seasons in hopes they will find love throughout the competition. Instead of one lead handing out roses, the elimination ceremonies alternate between the men and the women handing out roses to the opposite sex. The beach is then replenished with new castmembers after an elimination.
Bachelor in Paradise has not come without controversy. After the 2017 season was temporarily shut down over a sexual misconduct claim (and ultimately cleared), the franchise has had a complicated relationship with consent in the #MeToo era. As a result, the producers instituted a drinking rule (no more than two drinks per hour) and had Harrison host a cast chat about consent when dating on the show.
Though the summer series doesn't pull in the total viewer ratings of its bigger sister shows, the spinoff isn't far behind the mainstays in the 18-49 demo (the season five premiere of Paradise delivered a 1.1 rating in the demo, compared to The Bachelor's 1.5 with Underwood's debut). But the series has produced a handful of engagements and marriages, and often serves as a launchpad for the revolving door of stars who come through the long-running franchise, even catapulting two contestants to go on to lead The Bachelor (Nick Viall in 2017 and current Bachelor Underwood.)
Also Tuesday, ABC announced that Underwood's season of The Bachelor will conclude with a supersize finale. The two-night finale, airing March 11 and 12 (from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.), follows in the footsteps of the previous Bachelor finale for controversial star Arie Luyendyk Jr. and the decision to double down is significant. Though recent finales have seen ABC expand the time slot to three hours for its final Monday night showing, Luyendyk Jr.'s was the first season to get the two-night treatment and his signoff warranted the extra time. The memorable and highly debated ending saw ABC breaking format to follow Luyendyk Jr. as he broke up with his winner, Kufrin, on camera and reversed course to propose to his runner-up and now-wife, Lauren Burnham, on the live After the Final Rose post-finale special.
ABC is once again promising an ending "unlike any other in Bachelor history," teasing the possibility that Underwood might not get his fairy-tale ending in the release.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, both Underwood and Harrison have described the ending to the season as "unexpected" and "different" than prior finales. Unlike recent stars, Underwood has not revealed whether or not he found an engagement, or even found love, in the end and the star, who is the first virgin lead of the franchise, confirmed that he left the show during the overnight dates week, called Fantasy Suites, in a moment that changes the course of the season.
"Fantasy Suites week was the biggest week in the whole entire journey," Underwood told THR of a moment captured in the season trailer where he jumps a fence to evade the cameras. "The jump was the most emotional and the most physical that I had to be the entire season. I will also say that is the most pivotal moment. That was a game-changer. That night changed how everything went."
The Bachelor reached a season high with its recent Jan. 28 episode, which saw contestant Caelynn Miller-Keyes, a Miss USA runner-up, opening up about being a sexual assault survivor. The Feb. 4 episode matched those ratings with a 1.8 in the key demo.
Following the second night of the season finale of The Bachelor in the 10 p.m. time slot, ABC will air a first-look episode of Videos After Dark, a new comedy reality series hosted by Bob Saget and featuring home videos "with an edgier twist." Expanding its unscripted slate, ABC has picked up additional episodes to air later this year.
The annual Bachelor: The Women Tell All reunion show will also air on a Tuesday this season, on March 5.
The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise, both hosted by Harrison, are productions of Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted & Alternative Television. Martin Hilton, Mike Fleiss, Nicole Woods, Bennett Graebner and Elan Gale executive produce The Bachelor, while Bachelor in Paradise is executive produced by Hilton, Fleiss, Woods and Graebner.
Vin Di Bona, Michele Nasraway and Saget serve as executive producers on Videos After Dark.