After back-to-back programming for the past year, Bachelor Nation is getting a little breather, but that doesn’t mean the drama is slowing down.
The next season from the mega franchise will be “The Bachelorette” Season 19,” which is currently in production and will premiere on July 11. But in the world of “The Bachelor,” news comes year-round.
As part of Variety‘s story in this week’s magazine for the annual Reality Impact Report about “The Bachelor’s” 20-year anniversary, one of the franchise’s top executives is sharing exclusive details of what’s currently in the works behind-the-scenes at the dating shows.
“Bachelor in Paradise” has been renewed for Season 8, but who will host? Is the long-teased senior citizens spinoff still happening? And is it possible that “Bachelor Pad” could ever make a comeback?
Here, Walt Disney Television’s top unscripted executive, Rob Mills, spills all of that, and more:
Is the senior citizens spinoff ever happening?
In 2020, a new spinoff began to percolate: A casting call for a senior citizens series was promoted on-air. Essentially, “The Bachelor: For Old People” has been teased for years. The pandemic slowed down development, but “Bachelor” execs are still hot on the idea.
“The senior citizens show is definitely going to happen at some point,” Mills now tells Variety. “The response to that is so massive every time we put up a casting call, so I think it’s definitely coming sooner rather than later.”
Mills continues, “For us, we really feel a responsibility to find the right person to be that senior Bachelor. So, we’re looking. COVID obviously put a major wrinkle in everything, but we are really looking back in earnest at it.”
Could Gabby’s grandfather be the Senior Bachelor?
So, who might possibly be cast as the senior Bachelor?
Viewers know that the grandfather of future “Bachelorette” Gabby Windey became an immediate fan-favorite from his on-camera appearances during hometowns and “After the Final Rose” with his granddaughter. (There have even been articles written campaigning for him to be the senior Bachelor.)
“I would be crazy to say that we didn’t notice all the affection and interest in Gabby’s grandfather, so you never know,” Mills says. “Everyone wants to see him find love. Gabby’s grandfather really gave the thesis of what that show should be, which is that he found that great love — we saw that he still wears the ring, so by the way, he might not be ready for something like this — and then, there is the question of having one great love in your lifetime, but can you have another? That’s really interesting and not something we get to explore on ‘The Bachelor.’ Or, finding someone who has never been in love. That would be interesting, too. If we can find the person and the story that allows us to answer that, that’s when we’ll do it.”
Are there any other spinoffs in the works?
“The Bachelor” has had many spinoffs over the years, from “Bachelor Pad” to “The Bachelor Winter Games” to the short-lived music competition show, “The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart.” So, is anything else — besides senior citizens — currently in development?
“Senior Bachelor, we’re obviously really high on,” Mills says, adding that nothing else is currently on the creative team’s plate. He adds, “For us, with the spinoffs, it’s always about finding something that can exist on its own so it doesn’t feel like overkill.”
Could “Bachelor Pad” ever make a comeback?
Don’t hold your breath, but it’s possible.
“Bachelor Pad,” which began in 2010, was a raunchy summer spinoff that ran for three seasons and later, after its cancellation, was indirectly replaced by “Bachelor in Paradise” on the summer schedule. However, even with all the love for “Paradise,” fans still do miss “Bachelor Pad” — and that hasn’t gone unnoticed by execs.
“At the very least, we do have conversations about it when we hear people say how much they miss ‘Bachelor Pad,’” Mills admits. “The question would be, can you make a version that feels separate and can live on its own from ‘Bachelor in Paradise’?”
Is Jesse Palmer hosting “Bachelor in Paradise” Season 8, or will celebrity guest-hosts return?
“Bachelor in Paradise” was renewed for Season 8, but no announcement was made regarding its host. The summer series used to always be hosted by Chris Harrison, but after his widely-documented departure in 2021, Season 7 was hosted by a rotating slew of celebrity guest hosts like Lil’ Jon, David Spade and Lance Bass.
But then, Jesse Palmer was named the new host of “The Bachelor,” replacing Harrison. Palmer — an ESPN commentator who starred as “The Bachelor” in 2004 — hosted Clayton Echard’s season of “The Bachelor” and inked a deal to return for Season 19 of “The Bachelorette,” which will star two female leads with Windey and Rachel Recchia.
“We are still in the middle of planning the creative on ‘Bachelor in Paradise,'” Mills says. “But I would be very surprised if Jesse wasn’t a part of it.”
And how about those wacky celebs who hosted in Mexico?
“We loved the idea of celebrities being involved, especially on ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ because it is so much more fast and loose,” Mills says. “I think it will be great to have guest stars there, but guest hosts? I don’t think we need it. I think they can still do everything they did that was so great, and we can still have someone like Jesse in that host role.”
Could Wells Adams ever become a host in Bachelor Nation?
Before Palmer got “The Bachelor” hosting gig and replaced Harrison, much of Bachelor Nation was rooting for fan-favorite alum and resident bartender on “Bachelor in Paradise,” Wells Adams. That didn’t happen, but “Bachelor” execs love him.
“You never say never,” Mills says when asked if Adams might host “Paradise” or something else down the road. “If we can figure out other roles for Wells, absolutely. Just in terms of the Walt Disney family, he is actually hosting a food competition for us at Hulu. We love Wells. So whether it’s within ‘The Bachelor’ or just in the broader ABC, Disney, Hulu family, we are Wells’ number one fan.”
Mills also gives a shoutout to Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe, the former stars of “The Bachelorette” who stepped in to guest co-host two seasons of “Bachelorette” last year, in Harrison’s absence, before Palmer landed the more permanent gig.
“Kaitlyn and Tayshia did an extraordinary job. I can’t say enough about how great they were,” Mills says. “I thought they brought such a different style to it, which was really refreshing and people liked. Some people are still upset that they’re not doing it, and I think that’s a testament to how great they did.”