9:32am PT by Jackie Strause
'Bachelor' Greatest Hits Series to Fill 'Bachelorette' Spot on ABC's Summer Slate
The Bachelor is digging into its library of programming to fill its summer slots. With the next cycles of The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise in limbo amid the coronavirus pandemic and Hollywood-wide production shutdown, the ABC franchise is moving forward with a retrospective series event for its summer programming.
The 10-episode summer series, titled The Bachelor: The Most Unforgettable — Ever!, will be hosted by Chris Harrison and will air for three hours on Monday nights starting June 8, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET/PT, ABC announced Wednesday. The Bachelorette with Clare Crawley would have premiered in late May, with Paradise airing later in the summer, but the Warner Bros. TV productions have both been shut down amid the pandemic. ABC had also been planning The Bachelor Summer Games as counterprogramming to the now-postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and that, too, has since been halted.
According to the release from ABC, Harrison will host The Bachelor: The Most Unforgettable — Ever! from the Bachelor mansion in California, where he will reach into the vault and bring back one of his favorite seasons, highlighting some of the most devastating rose ceremonies, passionate proposals, unexpected new arrivals, dramatic meltdowns, biggest breakups and — of course — the most romantic moments. The weekly retrospectives will also include virtual catchups with fan-favorite Bachelor alumni, checking on the latest in their lives after their final rose.
"The Bachelor: The Most Unforgettable — Ever! is a love letter to our fans who have been with us through some of the most heartwarming, heartbreaking and unexpected moments throughout Bachelor history," says Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment. "We can't wait for Bachelor Nation to fall in love all over again as we take this wild journey down memory lane."
With productions at a halt amid the pandemic's stay-at-home orders, WBTV and the Bachelor franchise producers had been discussing all possible options to safely make a Bachelorette season work in preparation for receiving the go-ahead to resume production once restrictions are lifted. Before Crawley's cycle was halted, the team had planned to move forward with a season that would include domestic travel only; The Bachelorette begins filming at the Agoura Hills, California, Bachelor mansion before (usually) traveling around the world. Production on the season was shut down in March, however, just as the crew was preparing for the first night of filming, when Crawley would meet her contestants at the Bachelor mansion. Bachelor in Paradise, on the other hand, is an international production that films in Sayulita, Mexico, and typically goes into production after the Bachelorette cycle wraps.
With The Bachelor also typically heading into production in the fall, it's unclear how the network plans to handle the stalled seasons while awaiting a production greenlight. Now with the summer steadily approaching, the franchise is turning to the retrospective, where it will have 18 years and hours upon hours of programming (24 seasons of The Bachelor, 15 seasons of The Bachelorette, six seasons of Bachelor in Paradise and other special events and shorter-lived spinoffs) to draw from while delivering a TV event that can abide by new social distancing rules with host Harrison relying on previously filmed footage. A new spinoff in the franchise, The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart, premiered April 13 and is currently airing it's six-episode run (which was filmed ahead of the pandemic).
The Bachelor: The Most Unforgettable — Ever! is a production of Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. The series is produced by Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton, Nicole Woods, Bennett Graebner, Peter Gust, Tim Warner, Peter Geist and Harrison.