The Bachelor execs are not rushing to find a new permanent host for Chris Harrison, who stepped back from the franchise on June 8 after three months of his tenure with the reality dating show in flux.
The longtime host of the group of shows that make up Bachelor Nation came to a mutual agreement with executives after it appeared that he would not be asked back to host the series. This was rumored to be to the tune of $25 million to remain mum on what he knew about the series and its most dramatic behind-the-scenes details.
Harrison’s departure came after a controversy that ensued when the longtime host made racially insensitive comments, defending a contestant from the franchise.
It was reported that Harrison wanted to stay on as host of the show, which he has hosted since it premiered in 2002. However, when it appeared that show executives kept stalling on whether or not to allow him to return, the host’s legal team went into overdrive to force their hands, eventually coming to a resolution where he walked away with upward of an eight-figure payday in exchange for his silence.
Harrison made his own announcement regarding the decision. He shared a statement on his official Instagram which read, “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter. I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”
Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment issued a joint statement confirming Harrison’s departure. “Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of ‘The Bachelor’ franchise. We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey.”
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Is anyone a frontrunner for The Bachelor hosting gig?
Variety reported that Harrison’s job has not yet permanently been replaced. Instead, the show will continue to use a roster of rotating hosts who will helm the summer season of Bachelor in Paradise and Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette this Fall.
Insiders said to the publication that finding a replacement for Harrison is not yet on the minds of ABC execs. A permanent host for the franchise will likely not be announced until this Fall when production ramps up for the 2022 season of The Bachelor, the cornerstone of the entire franchise. Production is slated to begin later this year and the debut of the new season will not occur until January of 2022.
Variety reported that once the news of Harrison’s departure was released, Bachelor production was flooded with calls by interested agents looking to score the huge gig for their talent.
Who could be the potential new host of The Bachelor?
Names familiar to fans of the franchise have been tossed out as potential replacements.
Variety reported that anyone from former Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay could score the gig to After the Final Rose host Emmanuel Acho who initially stepped in for Harrison to navigate the complicated waters of the finale, where Season 25 star Matt James spoke of learning that his frontrunner contestant, Rachael Kirkconnell, participated in racist imagery during her years at college.
Also in the running could be Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams, who currently host Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.