ABC to premiere Jason Mesnick's 'The Bachelor' edition on January 5
By John Bracchitta and Steve Rogers, 11/05/2008
ABC has confirmed that The Bachelor's thirteenth edition -- which the network had previously planned to air in the same Mondays at 10PM ET/PT time period that the reality dating show's last two editions had aired in -- will premiere on Monday, January 5 at 8PM ET/PT with a special two-hour broadcast.
While The Bachelor has previously featured divorced men as its bachelor (Bob Guiney in 2003 and Byron Velvick in 2004), Mesnick -- who got divorced two years ago and has custody of his 3-year-old son Ty -- is the long-running reality series' first single father. He currently lives with his younger brother Larry and Ty.
Although The Bachelorette's fourth season aired in the time period this summer, The Bachelor's thirteenth edition will also be the first The Bachelor edition to regularly air in the more "family friendly"-focused 8PM ET/PT hour.
ABC will also premiere True Beauty, a new reality competition series produced by America's Next Top Model producer Tyra Banks and Beauty and the Geek producer Ashton Kutcher, at 10PM ET/PT following The Bachelor's January 5 debut.
Beginning January 12, The Bachelor will settle into Dancing with the Stars' current Monday night time period and air 90-minute episodes from 8-9:30 PM ET/PT. Samantha Who?, the network's Christina Applegate-fronted sitcom, will continue to air in the 9:30-10PM ET/PT time period and will serve as True Beauty's regular lead-in.
The Bachelor's thirteenth edition will be the first edition to premiere in January since The Bachelor: Paris debuted in 2006. In addition, the season will also be the first The Bachelor edition since The Bachelor: Rome aired in Fall 2006 that won't have the benefit of having Dancing with the Stars -- which takes a winter hiatus between its fall and spring editions -- airing earlier on Monday night.
The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman, which aired in Spring 2007, was the last The Bachelor edition to regularly air 90-minute episodes.