Please accept this rose — from six feet away, that is. Bachelorette host Chris Harrison gave an update on Clare Crawley's season that confirmed producers are back at work. Harrison and Rob Mills, VP of Alternative Series, Specials, & Late-Night Programming at ABC, told Variety on April 29 that production would attempt to resume in the summer, with a tentative premiere date set for the fall. In light of the somewhat unpredictable nature of the pandemic, however, Harrison reiterated that the production plans are not 100% set in stone.
“It would be crazy for us to say that we know what anything is going to look like — not even television, I’m just talking the world in general,” Harrison said. “We don’t know when we come out of this, what it’s going to look like as far as getting back to social distancing.” Still, the host noted one silver lining: “The good news is we are starting to get producers back to work,” he said. “People that can work from home, as far as trying to look at locations, asking, ‘Can we travel, or do we need to just bunker in place and have one main campus?’ The options are endless.”
Harrison also added that the tone of Crawley’s season will be reflective of the new normal of life under a pandemic. “When people talk about reopening America, I think people freak out,” Harrison told Variety. “If they said you could go to restaurants and bars tomorrow, I think we’d all be a little bit weary." He added, “I’m sure for Clare and the men she’s dating, it’s going to be a little bit different. We’ll have to lean into that a little bit, but hopefully not too much.” While details are still being figured out, Mills outlined plans to film at large, spacious locations, with cast and crew being tested prior to entering the venue and quarantining on-site for the duration of the shoot. He also told the outlet that he's hoping filming can start mid-summer, which would likely result in a fall premiere.
The update comes after ABC halted production of Bachelorette at the height of the pandemic in early March. Crawley addressed the delay on Instagram on March 14. “In all seriousness, everyone’s health is the most important priority at this time," Crawley wrote, in part. “My heart is so full from all the love and support this far, and am still so excited for my journey to begin! I’ve waited 38 years for these moments, what’s a little bit longer, right!”
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