ABC's eighth 'The Bachelor' edition to premiere on January 8
By Reality TV World staff, 11/16/2005
ABC has announced that the eighth edition of its long-running The Bachelor reality dating series will premiere Monday, January 9. But rather than airing in the 8PM ET/PT time period that ABC had originally announced when it first revealed its plans to delay its next edition of the reality franchise until midseason, The Bachelor 8 will now air at 10PM ET/PT.
Currently being filmed on location in Paris, The Bachelor 8 will feature twenty-five bachelorettes competing for a still unidentified "sexy" and "nice" Southern doctor who, according to ABC, is "serious about finding the love of his life" (or at least as "serious" as it gets on a series that's yet to see any of its seven previous bachelors walk down the aisle.)
Back in May, ABC had announced that although last spring's sleazier "less formal, no rules" Charlie O'Connell-led Bachelor 7 edition had failed to rejuvenate the fading series, it was -- somewhat surprisingly -- going to give The Bachelor's producers one more chance at reviving the ratings of the once smash hit reality series by going old school.
Largely devoid of hit series prior to last season's surprising Desperate Housewives/Lost/Grey's Anatomy/Extreme Makeover: Home Edition-fueled resurgence, ABC had taken its ratings where it could get them, resulting in the then struggling network airing three The Bachelor and The Bachelorette editions (back then, one of its few hits) during each of the last three primetime television seasons.
Thinking that the show's ratings drop may have been the result of what it now suspects, in hindsight, has been an overexposure of the series (a lesson NBC appears to be learning with this season's dual The Apprentice shows), ABC hopes that its decision to delay the show's return until midseason will revive its ratings.
With Monday Night Football ending its thirty-year run on ABC (MNF will move to ABC sibling ESPN in 2006), the network had originally planned to move current 8PM time period occupant Wife Swap and use The Bachelor to launch a whole night of beautiful single people television. After The Bachelor, ABC's new Monday night lineup was to feature Emily's Reasons Why Not, a new sitcom headlined by Heather Graham; Jake In Charge, John Stamos' returning sitcom; and What About Brian, a new relationship drama from Lost and Alias producer J.J. Abrams that will star Barry Watson.
But Wife Swap has held up fairly well despite airing as Monday Night Football's less than ideal lead-in and other than the just-canceled Night Stalker, ABC's strong fall launch has left it with few open slots on its schedule. Based on that, ABC decided to instead just keep Wife Swap in its current time period, move The Bachelor into the 10PM timeslot, and delay What About Brian's premiere until later in 2006 (probably until after The Bachelor finishes its eight week run.)