Although an official announcement isn't expected to come until at least next week, ABC has reportedly renewed The Bachelor for a tenth season.

According to Daily Variety, which reported the renewal in its Friday edition, The Bachelor 10 could premiere at soon as late spring, assuming ABC wants to air it then (earlier this week, ABC confirmed that Dancing with the Stars, the other reality elimination series that was part of the network's fall schedule, will return for a fourth edition in March 2007.)

While the ratings for this fall's The Bachelor: Rome edition have been below those drawn by the Spring 2006 The Bachelor: Paris edition that was credited with saving the once smash-hit reality franchise from cancellation, ABC is reportedly still pleased with The Bachelor: Rome's ratings performance. Despite airing against NBC's Heroes (the fall season's most watched new series) and CBS's Two And A Half Men (the season's most watched comedy), The Bachelor: Rome has averaged a 3.3/8 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic craved by advertisers and ranks second in its time period (behind Heroes) in the Women 18-34 demographic that ABC has based its new post-Monday Night Football Monday night lineup around.

Through its first five episodes, The Bachelor: Rome has averaged 8.06 million viewers and ranks 57th in Nielsen's season-to-date viewership rankings Last spring's seven-episode The Bachelor: Paris edition averaged 9.32 million viewers and ranked 56th in the 2005-2006 season rankings. Earlier this week, ABC announced that it had given What About Brian, a JJ Abrams-produced drama that has averaged only 6.78 million viewers in the post-The Bachelor: Rome Mondays at 10PM time period, a full season pickup.

The Bachelor: Rome will end its season with a special two-hour finale on Monday, November 27 at 9PM ET/PT.