As drama continues to unfold on the set of “The Bachelorette,” the team behind the hit show continues to keep the mystery alive.
Marketing materials for the upcoming season were released on Thursday by ABC, showcasing leading lady Clare Crawley — but not Tayshia Adams, who has been reported to have swapped in as the new star of the season halfway through filming, as production is underway.
Though rumors have been swirling that Adams replaces Crawley mid-season, the key art features Crawley solo. The marketing strategy will likely fuel chatter among Bachelor Nation, the rabid fans of the franchise who are clamoring to know what has really occurred on set.
In its press release on Thursday, ABC teased “the explosive turn of events that will have all of Bachelor Nation talking.”
Aside from releasing the key art, the network also announced that “The Bachelorette” Season 16 will premiere on Oct. 13.
ABC’s fall schedule will rely heavily on unscripted content, as production on scripted television and film has largely been shut down across the entire industry with the coronavirus pandemic, causing each of the broadcast networks to get creative with their fall schedules. At ABC, major shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” which typically air in the fall, have been delayed, and “The Bachelorette,” which typically airs in the spring and summer, will now fill a void, as the dating show is a reliable ratings performer.
Production on “The Bachelorette” was shut down in mid-March, as the pandemic hit, and the show went back into production with extra safety measures in late June. In order to get the show up and running again, the entire cast and crew has been filming in a bubble, quarantined at a private resort in Southern California where no one is let in or out, unless they’ve been under quarantine and tested. (Even host Chris Harrison had to sit out a few episodes in order to complete his mandated quarantine after dropping his son off at college.)
While no one is able to venture in and out of set, one major player did come to the resort: Bachelor alum Adams, who is said to be replacing Crawley midway through the season.
The casting shakeup comes as Crawley reportedly fell in love with one of her suitors early during filming, so producers brought in Adams to essentially become the new “Bachelorette.” Sources close to the show told Variety that while many reports surrounding the switch-up rumors at not entirely accurate, all of the drama will play out on-screen, and viewers will see what happened during Crawley’s journey.
“It’s shaping up to be a very interesting season creatively with lots of twists and turns,” a production insider told Variety.