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Jesse Palmer, a one-time Bachelor star himself, will become the new face the franchise when season 26 premieres. Production is set to start at the end of September, with the season expected to air in January 2022.
“For more than 20 years, The Bachelor has brought the world dozens of unforgettable love stories, including at one time, my own,” says Palmer in a statement. “Falling in love is one of life’s greatest gifts, and I am humbled by the opportunity to return to the show as host this season to offer the newest Bachelor advice gained from firsthand experience and I am grateful to play a small part in his journey.”
The network has yet to name the star of the season, but that search has also concluded: The Bachelor is a contestant who will compete on the upcoming season of The Bachelorette with Michelle Young, as previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
The naming of Palmer ends a search that began when longtime host Chris Harrison parted ways with the ABC and Warner Horizon franchise earlier this summer. After stepping aside during the controversial 2021 season of The Bachelor, the former host and producer — who hosted since 2002 — exited his role upon reaching a confidential settlement.
After Harrison’s departure, former Bachelorette leads Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe stepped in to host both 2021 seasons of The Bachelorette, while franchise alum Wells Adams expanded his role from bartender to “master of ceremonies” on the currently airing seventh season of summer spinoff Bachelor in Paradise.
Per ABC, Palmer will now step in to guide the latest Bachelor as he embarks on his journey to find love.
An ESPN analyst since 2007, Palmer has also signed an extension to continue his studio role with the network during the 2021-2022 college football season.
Palmer’s deal with the network makes him a likely option to continue on as host of the franchise beyond season 26. Per production sources, ABC and Warner Bros. plan to address those options as future seasons are picked up.
In 2004, Palmer was the season five Bachelor. He has remained in the extended franchise family, hosting ABC’s The Proposal from producers Warner Horizon and Next Entertainment. Palmer has also been a special contributor for ABC’s Good Morning America and contributor across all ABC News platforms, primarily focusing on news and live events such as ABC’s Disney Parks’ holiday specials and ABC’s presentation of the NFL Draft.
He joined ESPN in 2007 after five seasons in the NFL. He has also served as host of DailyMail TV and most recently hosted ABC’s The Ultimate Surfer.
The Bachelor is a production of Next Entertainment and Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon.
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