Not many TV shows last 19 seasons, but The Bachelor has managed to make this happen. Since it first premiered in 2002, it has sparked spin-offs (some more successful than others) and countless incidents of drama. It might not be the best at creating actual relationships with any degree of staying power, but it's entertaining. It's a staple of reality TV, and for reasons even I sometimes cannot understand, it's pretty damn addictive. But 19 seasons later, it'd be understood if not expected that some of the usual viewers would begin to fall off the proverbial Bachelor wagon. But as far as ratings and social media are concerned? The Bachelor is plenty popular in 2015. It's doing just fine.
However, "just fine" for The Bachelor doesn't mean it's raking in ratings like it used to. In fact, the three-hour event of a season premiere brought in the least amount of viewers any Bachelor premiere has seen in the history of the show. The good news? The show has a pretty explosive history, so 7.7 million viewers as a series low (down 19 percent from the premiere of Juan Pablo Galavis' season) is not terrible. In the second week, 6.48 million viewers tuned in, coming in behind competing shows like The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly, NCIS, and Castle. We probably won't be getting super-sized seasons and cheap Bach-verse vacations are likely going to be the norm now, but it's doing OK.
Now, let's take a look at social media. Obviously, Twitter is a huge resource in figuring out how many people are still actively watching and talking about The Bachelor, and just pulling up the hashtag #TheBachelor brings up thousands of results, even at times when the show isn't on. That's a good sign, right? And on Facebook, the show's official page has over 1 million fans. That's pretty impressive. Even more impressive is the fact that every time the page makes a post, thousands of people like and comment. That kind of interaction is hard to come by — especially 19 seasons later— which means The Bachelor still has an involved and passionate fan base. This is crucial to the show's survival, and The Bach has it in the bag.
So should we be worried? I'm going to go with "no." The Bachelor doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, so Chris Harrison should feel pretty good as far as job security is concerned. I look forward to seeing many future seasons of hopeful (and hopeless) Bachelorettes and Bachelors... and watching Chris grow old and tired of ABC's tricks. Eventually. Someday.
Image: Rick Rowell/ABC