Another lady will have a chance to find true love on the 17th season of The Bachelorette but Chris Harrison (above, right) won’t be hosting. ABC has renewed the long-running series but has announced that Harrison won’t be back, at least for the 2021 season.
A “reality” dating competition, season 16 of The Bachelorette initially followed 39-year-old hair-stylist Clare Crawley (above, left), the runner-up of the 18th season of The Bachelor. She fell in love with former football wide receiver Dale Moss, became engaged, and departed the competition in week four (they have since broken up). Crawley was replaced by Tayshia Adams, a 29-year-old phlebotomist, who found love with Zac Clark, an addiction specialist.
The 16th season averaged a 1.31 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 4.73 million viewers. Compared to season 15, that’s down by 15% in the demo and down by 18% in viewership. The series remains one of ABC’s most-watched unscripted series of the current 2020-21 season. Due to production delays stemming from the ongoing pandemic, season 16 aired in the fall instead of the summer of 2020 as originally planned.
A premiere date for season 17 hasn’t been announced yet but production is slated to begin at the end of this month. The cast and crew are currently quarantining at a resort near Albuquerque, New Mexico but Harrison isn’t among them.
Last month, Harrison stepped down from hosting the upcoming After the Rose special for the current season of The Bachelor. He did so following comments he made in an interview with contestant Rachel Lindsay on Extra. Harrison came under fire after defending Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after photos of her attending a 2018 antebellum plantation-themed fraternity party resurfaced.
He later apologized for the statements. “The historic season of The Bachelor should not be marred or overshadowed by my mistakes or diminished by my actions. To that end, I have consulted with Warner Bros. and ABC and will be stepping aside for a period of time and will not join for the After the Final Rose special,” Harrison wrote. “I am dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before.”
ABC and franchise producer Warner Horizon Unscripted Television have released a statement regarding his immediate future with the franchise. “Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of The Bachelorette,” the companies said. “We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing. In his absence, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will support the new Bachelorette through next season. As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within The Bachelor franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and People Of Color] representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks. These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world.”
What do you think? Are you a fan of The Bachelorette TV series? Are you glad that this show has been renewed for a 17th season on ABC? Will you miss Harrison? Should he return in the future?