Monday’s “Bachelorette” finale closed with Kaitlyn Bristowe’s happy ending, but host Chris Harrison doesn’t see a fairytale in Lifetime’s “UnReal,” the scripted series that takes a behind-the-scenes look at a reality TV show modeled after “The Bachelor” franchise.
“Really, the main difference that I’ve seen is that people watch ‘The Bachelor,'” Harrison told Variety when asked what he thinks about “UnReal” at “The Bachelorette: Men Tell All” taping earlier this month. “It’s complete fiction. As much as they would love to jump on our coattails — they were begging for us to talk about it and for people to write about it — at the end of the day, no one is watching. I mean, absolutely nobody is watching that show. Why? It is terrible. It is really terrible.”
Lifetime renewed “UnReal” for Season 2 in early July, after a series-high 0.35 rating in adults 18-49, and the series premiering to 815,000 viewers overall. Last night, “The Bachelorette’s” Season 11 finale averaged a season-high 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.1 million viewers overall.
While talking to Variety, Harrison acknowledged that he does admire some parodies such as those on “Saturday Night Live” or “The Tonight Show” because they validate the “Bachelor” franchise’s cultural impact.
“You only do that when you are part of the vernacular. Because if not, you can’t make a joke. It’s a sign of respect,” he said. “The way that ‘UnReal’ took it, it wasn’t a sign of respect. They were trying to take it another direction, but it doesn’t work that way.”
Harrison also enjoyed the parody series “Burning Love,” exec produced by Ben Stiller. “I respected that because they used their skills to do that. But ‘UnReal’ is just a really bad attempt, and they got what they deserved, and that is no one is watching the show.”