Sunday, May 19, 2024

For The Bachelor, The Bloom is Off the Rose: Down 50% from 2021 in Total Viewers Since Chris Harrison Left


I know, you’re thinking, who cares about The Bachelor on ABC?

But the show and its counterpart, The Bachelorette, have become an industry, and staples on the network since 2002. Yes, two thousand two.

I wrote yesterday about how totally insipid the already fairly low IQ show has become. On Monday night’s episode, the guy who is the Bachelor came down with COVID in London. The 20 or so young women who were all “in love” with him didn’t care if he was sick. They wanted to win. They wanted the final rose, the engagement ring, and publicity. It was a hilarious disaster.

More importantly, Monday’s show also had the lowest number of total viewers in 22 years: 2.8 million. Two years this week, “The Bachelor” scored 5.3 million viewers. That’s nearly 50% less.

That season, the season average was 5.5 million. This season so far the average is 2.3 million — and it’s not going to improve.

The rose is wilting, and almost dead. The bloom is off the rose. As this season sinks into ignominy, it may be time to wrap this enterprise up. “The Bachelor” has outlived whatever usefulness it had. The novelty of seeing stupid, shiny, inarticulate, somewhat illiterate people trying to fall in love instantly has lost its juice. In syndication, it would be a hit. But taking up precious prime time real estate? Enough.

Another issue besides boredom is that “The Bachelor” lost its mojo after host Chris Harrison was pushed out. He got tongue tied into a mess when a recent winner, who was Black, asked him “Extra” about a female contestant who’d attended parties on a Southern plantation. Harrison, ill-equipped to deal with this, defended the young woman and plantations. And he was gone after just under two decades. (Note: the plantation girl ultimately got engaged to her Black suitor, who forgave her. You can’t make this stuff up.)

ABC already moved “Dancing with the Stars” off to streaming. “The Bachelor” is next.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News