Bachelor in Paradise's 2020 season could actually end up airing before Clare Crawley's edition of The Bachelorette, according to ABC's reality chief Robert Mills.

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Given the production of The Bachelorette's sixteenth season -- which was scheduled to begin on March 13 -- has been postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it's been assumed the 2020 season of Bachelor in Paradise will be delayed as well, or possibly even canceled altogether, as Paradise usually airs after The Bachelorette each summer.

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The Bachelor host Chris Harrison shared earlier this month producers are "chomping at the bit" to begin production of Clare's The Bachelorette season and premiere it as soon as possible, but now Robert is saying it may make more sense to push out Bachelor in Paradise first.

During a recent appearance on Barstool Sports' Chicks in the Office podcast, Robert was asked whether viewers can expect The Bachelorette to air this summer and then Bachelor in Paradise's seventh season -- which would typically feature many of The Bachelorette bachelors Clare rejected -- to debut closer to the winter.

"Maybe. We're looking at all of that -- or is it, do we do Paradise quickly? Is that easier to get up on its feet?" Robert reasoned.

"We definitely want to get Bachelorette in the can because we've announced Clare and everyone is excited for it. There are all these plans for it. But that might take longer to logistically figure out."

Robert suggested Bachelor in Paradise may be quicker and easier to film given all the bachelors and bachelorettes attempt to find love at one resort all season long, with dates not typically venturing very far from the resort area.

"Maybe it's easier to do Paradise. So I think we'll look at all that," Robert noted.

However, ABC and producers apparently want to film The Bachelorette as soon as it's safe to do so for their cast and crew.

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"We talk about it every day. Obviously it's super important. Look, I'll be honest. We'll do it right when it's safe to do it. I'll be honest, we want to get it on the first minute we possibly can," Robert revealed on the Chicks In the Office podcast.

"So there's a lot of different discussions. And hopefully it's going to get to the point soon where you can start testing people easier and quicker."

"So if we get everybody tested," he continued, "do we just have them all in one location? Is it going to be safe to travel? Is it just traveling on the road? When are we going to be able to fly? And a lot of that obviously just changes daily."

But Robert said producers will figure that out and produce "some version [of the show] that reflects the world that we're in as quickly as possible."

If The Bachelorette does end up taking precedence over Paradise on producers' timeline, Robert said he could also potentially envision Bachelor in Paradise "in a ski lodge or something like that."

"We will definitely consider that," Robert said of potentially airing a winter-themed season in late 2020.

Another priority for the franchise is keeping The Bachelor on track, according to the ABC reality chief.

"I mean, that's also a huge priority, to make sure the first Monday in January, The Bachelor is back. So we've got to figure that out as well," Robert explained, as ABC is expected to air The Bachelor's 25th season in 2021.

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"All those things are in place. They're all kind of moving. It's hard because it's just one crew, so it's like you've got to keep going. Already it's a year-round thing when they're all spaced out like this. So it will be tough, but we'll definitely figure it out, because we all need this -- badly."

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The Bachelorette's initial cast of 32 possible bachelors was already announced by ABC in March, but Robert confirmed applications are still being taken and more men continue to apply.

Chris previously told People that fans may end up seeing a totally different lineup of bachelors and Clare is "frustrated" she must wait to begin her journey to find love.

"She's safe and she's doing what she's supposed to do, but that means she's sequestered at home and she lives by herself. Bad timing for Clare," Chris said.

Had the coronavirus broken out after Clare filmed her season, Chris explained, "She could have been quarantined with the man of her dreams, but now she just has to sit and think about being the Bachelorette."

When Chris first announced The Bachelorette's postponement over coronavirus concerns, he admitted on March 13 that ABC didn't feel it had much of a choice.

"Things are not changing by the day; they are changing by the hour. But I was consulted about this. It was not only the right thing to do; it was the only thing to do," Chris had said in an Instagram video.

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But Chris insisted in the video the decision to push off filming was still "hard to make."

"This is massive. Jobs will be lost, paychecks will be lost, and there's just no way to avoid that, and that doesn't avoid the fact that this was still the right thing to do and the only thing to do," Chris had explained.

Warner Bros. Television Group, which produces all Bachelor spinoffs, had also issued a statement to Us Weekly on March 13 announcing production of The Bachelorette was going to be delayed "out of an abundance of caution."

"There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on any of our productions, but the health and safety of our employees, casts and crews remains our top priority," said the production company.

"During this time, we will continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control as well as local officials and public health professionals in each city where our productions are based."

The coronavirus pandemic has affected production schedules of many other reality TV shows, as well as nearly all scripted TV series.

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Not only is ABC reportedly scrapping The Bachelor Summer Games, but CBS has also postponed filming new seasons of Survivor and The Amazing Race.

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