ABC’s senior vice president of alternative programming, Robert Mills, paid a visit to “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” Wednesday, and he shed a lot of light on what Clare Crawley and Matt James’ upcoming seasons of “The Bachelorette” and “The Bachelor” will look like as they attempt to start filming mid-pandemic.
Yes, kissing will still be allowed — but dates are going to look somewhat different from seasons past.
ABC announced its fall schedule on Wednesday, which places “The Bachelorette” on Tuesday nights instead of its usual Monday slot. But the sheer fact that it will be on television sets this fall is good news for Bachelor Nation, which sorely missed it when its traditional May premiere date had to be postponed due to the coronavirus.
Mills explained that Crawley’s season will not take place per tradition at the Bachelor Mansion, but will instead be held at a private resort. A week before shooting begins — the plan is to start a month from now — the cast and crew will be tested for the virus. All those who test negative will be allowed to commence filming on the resort grounds, where production will take place “inside that bubble,” Mills said.
“They will be at some sort of resort,” he added, though he did not reveal where specifically. “All of them have been scouted for good date locations.”
Regarding the frequent make-out sessions that are an integral part of “The Bachelor” franchise, he said, “We think it’ll be absolutely safe.”
The dates won’t be as “over the top” as fans are used to, however. International travel plans, which included Italy, had to be canceled for Crawley’s season due to the virus — but there will still be “plenty of different date locations that will be as close to the ‘Bachelorette’ as possible,” he said.
As for Matt James’ season of “The Bachelor,” Mills said they have already received 6500 applicants as of Wednesday, which he called a “record-setting pace.”
The plan is for it to start filming in September at the Bachelor Mansion. The season may or may not include travel depending on the circumstances.
“Maybe it’s domestic, maybe it’s by bus,” Mills said. “If things aren’t that safe, we’ll treat it the same way where everybody is safe, they’re tested, they’re quarantined, and then you can have kissing, arguing, and everything else.”
Listen to his full interview here.