The Bachelor star Matt James is brand new to the franchise.
He’s the first new lead in years, and fans have to get to know him. They don’t know him from a previous season of The Bachelorette.
He’s also the first person of color to take the lead, resulting in a few shake-ups this season.
And with these changes, it appears that some people are turning off the television.
Apparently, the audiences for The Bachelor have been under 5 million for the past two weeks.
But producers aren’t concerned. They attribute the change in numbers to the fact that they simply don’t know Matt.
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People don’t know Matt James as The Bachelor
ABC Executive Rob Mills had no problem talking about the low ratings for this season.
He spoke to Variety recently, sharing that he expects the ratings to go up as Matt’s journey continues. Rob claimed that this is often the case for these seasons.
“I actually think you’re going to see ratings rise more exponentially than you would during previous seasons because people are going to start talking about it and word-of-mouth is going to kick in,” he told the news outlet.
Even though the numbers are low, Rob isn’t concerned.
“When the numbers are down, we look at every single reason, but I certainly think it’s more to the fact that people are just getting to know Matt. It’s the first time in so long we have someone who has no connection to the franchise whatsoever, and when you have a Bachelor who comes through that season, everybody knows who this person is and what their story is and wants to watch them get their turn, after seeing them get their heart broken on TV,” he explained.
Rob explained that viewers are getting to know Matt throughout all the dates he’s been on and fans will learn more about the backstories. It’s not just about the women this year – it’s equally about Matt.
Matt James was added to give the franchise more diversity
Matt had previously been cast on Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette. He was removed from the cast after Clare revealed that she didn’t want her guys to use Cameo to spread awareness about their time on The Bachelorette.
She called out the guys indirectly back in April, asking them to respect the process. ABC didn’t feel that Matt was being fairly treated and decided to pull him. Instead, they offered him The Bachelor lead.
Matt was announced as the new Bachelor star in June 2020 after the network received criticism for a lack of diversity on the show.
Matt is the first person of color to be The Bachelor. But Rob is right – fans are just getting to know Matt and that includes his life outside of the show.
This week, Matt went to play golf with some friends, and one of the guys he was with made a rude comment about Victoria Larson’s body. While he could have defended Victoria, he chose to say nothing.
This story is relatively new, but it could have some dire consequences for him.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.