“When we shoot Clare’s season, it’s going to be indicative of what’s happening in the world,” Chris Harrison told “People.” “Obviously there will be talks of the pandemic and, ‘What were you doing quarantining and who were you with?’ Those are going to be the conversations that we’re going to embrace. And then when you watch Clare’s season, 20 years from now, you’re going to think, ‘What? What were these people doing? Why did they not hug? Why were they scared to embrace?’ And that’s kind of the beauty of this show is it always embraces what’s happening in the real world.”
Season 16 was scheduled to start shooting last month on the same day Warner Bros., which produces the show, shut down production on its entire slate. Since then, the Olympic-themed spin-off “The Bachelor Summer Games” has been canceled, but “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise” are still on the docket.
“Until we can do this show and do it safely, we won’t do it,” Harrison said. “Right now, we are just on hold and it’s being postponed. But we’re all chomping at the bit to get back to it and to have Clare be our Bachelorette.”
The leads of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” meet the contestants on the shows, but since the Crawley’s cast was announced already, Harrison believes the hairstylist has “probably” Googled all of her suitors the second she was able to. “I’m sure the first thing I would’ve done, if I got my phone back, was check out the contestants,” he said.
As Harrison has previously noted, with so much uncertainty, it’s unlikely the current 32 men will all be able to return whenever production can start. “If you use your common sense, you have to think, ‘OK, out of all these people, are they all going to be healthy?'” he said. “You pray to God that they all are, but what happens if some of these people are infected? What happens if some of them get severely sick? I mean, Colton [Underwood] went down, so once the smoke clears and this virus subsides and we think, ‘OK, let’s get back to work.’ It’s going to be a brave new world and we’re all going to have to reassess everything.”