As the impact of COVID-19 continue to be felt in the U.S. and around the world, ABC producers have taken the unprecedented step of officially delaying filming of The Bachelorette. This makes sense, considering the time, travel, and group gatherings inherent to the show premise. But the question fans are now wondering: Will show veteran Clare Crawley's season air at all? Or, put another way: Will this be a canceled/rescheduled Bachelorette season?
As of this writing, there's no word, and it's likely that producers are simply waiting to see what happens for the moment. But, eventually, we will get some kind of announcement—so here's what we know so far.
Reality Steve has some semi-encouraging news.
In a recent post/podcast, Reality Steve had some interesting (unverified) updates about the new show schedule. And boy, are they going to have some major impacts (emphasis mine):
- "They are looking to film in July/August for 5 weeks.
- The show would air in September.
- They are looking to film the entire season in ONE LOCATION.
- That means all dates, cocktails parties, rose ceremonies, etc would all happen in one location.
- The objective would be to find a resort (they have not secured anything yet, this is just what they’re trying to do) that would give them 100% EXCLUSIVITY to their cast and crew.
- Everyone on cast and crew would be tested prior to arrival, the show would be on complete lockdown for 5 weeks of filming with no one leaving the premises."
Soooo this is like a one-woman Bachelor in Paradise, basically. (This feels like it could get very boring, or, everyone will start fighting and be sick of each other by the second week.) It's also going to have a big impact on Bachelor in Paradise. The show hasn't confirmed anything, but Reality Steve speculates it'll be cancelled this year. It might also mean we'll get a Bachelor from an old season, since we won't know anything about Crawley's men before casting starts for that show. So big scheduling changes are coming—but it seems as though the initial report is Crawley's season isn't cancelled. Thank goodness.
There's been a filming delay.
In March, via press release, we first learned that production was being delayed. Then, Chris Harrison took to social media to explain that production was on hold for two weeks. Four days ago, Crawley took to social media to explain that they were taking things one day at a time considered how much uncertainty and change there was and is:
And, class act that she is, she's still excited and looking forward to starting her "journey."
But the delay has run longer.
Reality Steve speculated at the time that filming would not resume in two weeks. "More like two months," he writes. (He was correct.)
Producer Mike Fleiss did say it wasn't too late to submit someone for Clare's season, which feels like production is rethinking her season entirely:
But he doesn't always tweet the facts (remember when he said Khloé Kardashian could be The Bachelorette??) so who knows whether that's true. The Facebook post that had Crawley's 32 potential guys has been taken down, though, so the list of her contestants may actually change. Especially since these men have had to put their work and lives on hold and may no longer have the availability once/if filming starts again. But how would producers even do interviews with travel so limited?
Crawley was supposed to start filming March 13, with a mid-May premiere, so a shifted schedule could start as late as June. That would mean, per Reality Steve, that Bachelor in Paradise could start as late as August. This would also impact a popular ABC show, Dancing With the Stars, which usually starts in September. Of the three Bachelorverse shows, Reality Steve thinks Paradise is the most likely to get cut if needed. But if the schedules get too far pushed, Crawley's season may be cancelled—and it's really, really unclear whether she would just be Bachelorette in 2021, or whether a new person will be selected.
We'll update when we know more.
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