We have great news for fans of small screen entertainment...
... and terrible news for haters of Clare Crawley.
And both pieces of news are the same.
According to ABC’s reality chief, Rob Mills, Crawley will absolutely, positively, without any doubts whatsoever star this year on Season 16 of The Bachelorette.
Take THAT, Coronavirus!
“Clare’s season is happening one hundred percent,” Mills told Variety this week, shooting down speculation that the whole thing would be canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
And yet, while ABC very much plans on bringing back one of its most highly-rated programs, changes will need to be made as a result of these dangerous and historic times.
As Variety previously reported, the new season will probably shoot within the confines of one large location, which is yet to be determined.
So much for those exotic, supposedly romantic trips around the globe.
All contestants and crew members will also be tested before entering the private venue -- and then effectively quarantined on-site for the duration of the production.
Details are still being worked out, Mills explains, but this is the general idea and the general goals for filming.
“We’ve looked at everything -- are travel restrictions going to ease up?
"And it just doesn’t look like anything is changing anytime soon, and what we would rather do is start getting the season underway, sooner rather than later,” Mills says.
“As of right now, the plan is to get a great location that has a ton of space where everybody could safely be together and we can still have great dates that still feel big and romantic, and we would shoot the entire season there.”
Production on The Bachelorette was halted last month... before the premiere was even shot.
In the time since, fans have complained about multiple aspects of the season.
For example: That the suitors are too young for Crawley; that Crawley herself is too old to be the lead; that Hannah Ann Sluss should have been named; and that Clare just sucks in general.
This final complaint has been lodged in light of Crawley seemingly throwing shade at a contestant named Matt James.
As for the hometown-dates episode in which the star travels home to visit families of the finalists?
“All of this is still being figured out,” Mills tells Variety.
He says he hopes to start shooting by mid-summer in order to debut Season 16 in September or October. (It was originally scheduled to premiere in May.)
Chris Harrison, meanwhile, emphasizes that nothing is certain and all plans are in flux. Hence the lack of any concrete Bachelorette spoilers.
“It would be crazy for us to say that we know what anything is going to look like -- not even television, I’m just talking the world in general,” Harrison has admitted.
“We don’t know when we come out of this, what it’s going to look like as far as getting back to social distancing, can you get 10 people in a control room?
"Can you get 20 people in a control room? How are we going to shoot this safely?"
In conclusion, Harrison confesses that Bachelor in Paradise almost definitely won't air this year, while Mills agrees.
However, he's hopeful The Bachelor will premiere in early 2021. As usual.
“We’re certainly discussing it and how it could work and if it could work, but we want to make sure that the next season of The Bachelor stays on track because that’s something that everybody looks forward to at the beginning of the year,” Mills says.
“The goal is to make sure we absolutely have Bachelorette and Bachelor, and then, if there’s a way to do Bachelor In Paradise, we would love to do it.”