The Bachelor has been on for 24 seasons... and counting.
It's the rare network show that continues to rise in the ratings every season, despite practically every couple breaking up long before they ever make it down the aisle.
What is the secret to its success? That's hard to say.
But what are the secrets behind The Bachelor itself?
Reporter Amy Kaufman has penned a book titled "Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America's Favorite Guilty Pleasure Hardcover" that aims to answer this question.
Here's a look at some of the more unexpected tidbits and stories we learned from the memoir...
Sharing Her Experience
Kaufman is a journalist for The Los Angeles Times, who was actually once banned by ABC for her coverage because she uncovered one too many secrets from backstage. In this book, she relies on that experience to shape her narrative, while also conducting interviews with countless staff members.
Help from... Heidi Fleiss?
Did you know that Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss is cousins with the infamous Hollywood madam, who ran prostituion rings that included clients such as Charlie Sheen? Kaufman writes that Mike learned from his cousin just how hard people would fight for love... or companionship.
High on... Ideas
"If you go into his office or you were brought in for a meeting, you were probably going to smoke," ex-production coordinator Brad Isenberg told Kaufman of Mike Fleiss and his penchant for marijuna. Who says stoners are lazy?!?
Hatred for Harrison
"He was the dullest guy I've ever seen," Fleiss famously said years ago about host Chris Harrison, following their first meeting. It took a second meeting for Fleiss to reverse course... and the rest is rose ceremony history.
A Real-Life Affair
Kaufman writes about an affair between Fleiss and executive producer Lisa Levenson, with one casting associate saying the flirting between the pair was pretty apparent to everyone on set. (They were both married at the time.)
More Real-Life Affairs!
And then there was Elan Gale, the current executive producer. Kaufman alleges that she dated Casey Shteamer after the contestant was eliminated from Ben Flajnik's season. (Gale is now dating actress Molly Quinn, the author adds.)
No (Potential) Roses for You!
Each contestant must undergo an extensive medical exam prior to being cast, Kaufman explains. Fleiss' ex-assistant says any STD would be a disqualifier, with many potential stars being rejected because they had Herpes.
Define "Crazy" Please...
Are they psychological tests? Yes. But Michael Carroll, a former producer, said it was fine if contestants "barely" passed. It was almost celebrated. He tells Kaufman the possibility of someone being "unhinged" or "f-cking nuts" was "amazing."
Bribery in Action
Producers were offered cash rewards if they could get contestants to do something over-the-top. For example, $100 was given each time a woman cried on camera. Money was also given out for make-out sessions and for someone puking on camera.
Let's Chat... NOW!
Producers would basically force (or strongly suggest) that contestants took part in "Girl Chats." This is when crew members would prod them for an opinion on The Bachelor's current date or on whether they were surprised some other woman was given a rose.
Let's Talk About Sex!
Kaufman writes that the fantasy suite dates do NOT take place on consecutive nights, but they do take place during the same week of each other. Yes, sex often goes down, despite some women having found it "creepy" over the years that The Bachelor had recently been with another woman. "You just have to say, 'Look, this is just the way the show works,. It's not his fault," a former producer explains. "'Are you feeling it... because now's your chance.'"
Forced to Pay Up
Two lawsuits have been filed over the years against the show. In 2005, for example, employees got together and complained legally that they had not been paid overtime wages. Eventually, it was settled, with $1.1 million paid out to over two dozen plaintiffs.
Danger Can Abound
"It's super dangerous to work with no sleep and then get behind the wheel every night and drive home," said an ex-staffer who was start of this lawsuit. "There's a crash room on site, but the Hell [if] I was going to sleep" in it.
It centered on the series not promoting minorities, stating that The Bachelor only hired "white applicants" and that this was a "conscious attempt to minimize the risk of alienating" viewers.
... this lawsuit stated that the minority women who WERE chosen were expected to fill a certain archetype; they were expected to have "long hair" and "fake nails," for instance. Also, they were almost NEVER chosen to go very far.
Season 21 of The Bachelor was the ONLY returning network program to see its ratings increase. The series shows no signs of slowing down.