When Will Matt James' Season of 'The Bachelor' Air?

I could not be more excited.

Matt James
(Image credit: Craig Sjodin)

I could NOT be more delighted by this!! Former football player Matt James is our new Bachelor (opens in new tab)—and the first Black bachelor in show history (something the fans have desperately been asking for (opens in new tab)). You've very likely seen James before: He was part of the Quarantine Crew (you know, the house where Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron were maybe together (opens in new tab) during the coronavirus pandemic?) that made epic videos on TikTok. James and Cameron are also longtime BFFs—Cameron is a big part of ABC Food Tours, which James founded to serve kids in underserved communities in New York. You may also have heard James' name because he used to be a contestant for Bachelorette Clare Crawley this year—and this is the first time in a long time that the lead isn't from a previous season. So when will we get this history-making season?? I want it as soon as is humanly possible—but the producers are still assessing the pandemic, and it may impact their schedule plans. Here's what we know, and we'll update when we learn more. 

Matt James may see a January 2021 Bachelor air date.

Some of this may depend on The Bachelorette (opens in new tab) schedule (opens in new tab), but although Crawley hasn't started filming, the producers had expressed tentative plans for filming in the summer months and an air date in the fall. This likely means we won't get Bachelor in Paradise this year. According to Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab), Chris Harrison recently said that the hope was to keep the schedule on track for a January 2021 Bachelor premiere:

Our goal, first and foremost, is to shoot The Bachelorette, and if we can do that in the next three to four months, we’re still fine. We can push The Bachelor a little bit and get that done as well...The way we do it now, is we finish [production on The Bachelor] right before Thanksgiving. But in the past, when we were doing more [seasons], we would go into December. We could easily shift two or three months. Look, would it crush our post-production department, who's having to edit it? Yeah. But really the way we do it now is so everybody can enjoy Christmas and New Year's. [Pushing it later] would just destroy Christmas and New Year's for everybody—but we could get it done.

Give it to me now, please.

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And it may have some Bachelor alumni cameos.

I mean, there's no way ABC doesn't bring on James' friends, right?? James and Cameron could have fun guy dates where they play basketball and talk about the ladies. And as I've seen people point out, this could be an interesting launching pad to talk about privilege and issues around race.

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Thus far we know very little about the season's details—whether it'll be in one location like Crawley's season, what the producers are thinking about travel, and so on, but it's already epic and it hasn't even started yet. I cannot wait


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Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.