ABC orders 'Bachelor' spinoff

Ex-contestants to live together in 'Big Brother'-style house

ABC has ordered a spinoff of its "Bachelor" franchise in which former contestants live together in a "Big Brother"-style house.

"Bachelor Pad," produced by Mike Fleiss' Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon, will bring back 20 contestants from the previous 13 cycles of "The Bachelor" and five editions of "The Bachelorette." The series will represent the first "all-stars" reunion for the franchise.

The recent season finale of "The Bachelor" was seen by 15.5 million viewers and provided the network's highest ratings in the adults 18-49 demographic in 21⁄2 years.

Executive producer Martin Hilton said the concept was inspired by the real-life relationships that have continued among former "Bachelor" casts.

"All these people have been friends, been enemies, they date each other and bring all this great backstory to the show," Hilton said. "It seemed like there was an opportunity to combine that world with a new competitive reality show."

Contestants will live together in a house and compete in challenges, with some competitions inspired by incidents from past seasons. Each episode will conclude with evictions from the residence.

ABC has ordered seven episodes, with "Bachelor" host Chris Harrison on board to emcee. Although scheduling plans are not set, expect ABC to premiere the show in the late summer coming out of the "Bachelorette" finale. It's not clear whether the show will air opposite CBS' venerable "Big Brother" franchise, which has continued to perform solidly for that network across multiple nights each summer.

With "Bachelor" debuting last week and "Bachelorette" typically launching at the start of summer, the addition of "Bachelor Pad" gives ABC a version of the franchise on the air year-round except for the fall.

Names of the cast have not yet been released, but Hilton said that top players, including former winners, are on board.

"Bachelor" returned this month with its debut climbing slightly in the ratings for its 14th edition.