SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead, if you have not watched Clayton Echard’s finale of “The Bachelor,” which aired March 14 and 15 on ABC.
After replacing Chris Harrison as host of “The Bachelor,” Jesse Palmer has inked a deal to return as host of the franchise’s female-led series, “The Bachelorette,” which will return with its 19th season this summer.
“The Bachelorette” Season 19 will make history in a franchise first with two leading ladies: Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia, both finalists from Clayton Echard’s season of “The Bachelor.”
On Echard’s dramatic season finale, which aired on Tuesday night, Windey and Recchia faced a dual breakup, shocking viewers who sounded off on Twitter about Echard’s decisions. Over the last few episodes, Echard told both women he was in love with them, in addition to admitting to sleeping with both of them in the fantasy suites. (That said, both women certainly deserve another shot at love on their own season of “The Bachelorette.”)
“The Bachelorette” typically airs in the spring with a May premiere. With its premiere set for July 11 this season, the ABC franchise is taking a bit of a breather and going off the air for a handful of months for the first time in nearly a year.
Last year, “Bachelor” programming was essentially year-round with back-to-back seasons, which was unconventional for the franchise — in 2021, in addition to Matt James’ season of “The Bachelor” and the return of “Bachelor in Paradise” in the summer, two seasons of “The Bachelorette” aired in the same year, with Katie Thurston leading Season 17 in the spring, and Michelle Young starring in Season 18 in the fall.
With “The Bachelorette” now being programmed in the summer, there’s no word quite yet on when exactly “Bachelor In Paradise” will air, though it seems likely it could be shifted a bit to debut after Season 19 of “Bachelorette” wraps, sometime in the fall. (“The Bachelor,” which is the flagship show of the franchise, always premieres in January of the new year.)
As for Palmer, this current season of “The Bachelor” was his first as host — though he did star as the actual “Bachelor,” way back in 2004 for its fifth season. Now happily married (not to someone he met on the dating show), the former NFL quarterback is a television broadcaster, known for his college football commentary on ESPN.
Palmer stepped in to replace the franchise’s veteran host, Harrison, who hosted the hit dating series for nearly two decades, ever since its launch in 2002. Last year, Harrison departed the franchise amid a highly-publicized controversy, regarding his commentary in a now-infamous interview on “Extra” with former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsey.
Palmer has a longstanding relationship with The Walt Disney Company, as an ESPN sports commentator, and former special contributor on “Good Morning America.” He also hosted “The Ultimate Surfer” last summer at ABC, and “The Proposal” in 2018, which was created by “The Bachelor” boss Mike Fleiss. He has also hosted ABC’s Disney Parks’ holiday specials and ABC’s presentation of the NFL Draft.