Production on the new season of “The Bachelorette” has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, Warner Bros., which produces the series, announced Friday.
The show is one of more than 70 shows on which Warner Bros. is halting production. “With the rapidly changing events related to COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, Warner Bros. Television Group is halting production on some of our 70+ series and pilots currently filming or about to begin,” the studio said in a statement. “There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on any of our productions, but the health and safety of our employees, casts and crews remains our top priority. During this time, we will continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control as well as local officials and public health professionals in each city where our productions are based.”
Season 16 of “The Bachelorette,” headlined by Clare Crawley, was scheduled to start filming on Friday. A new production start date was not announced, and it is unclear how and if the delay will affect the season’s scheduled premiere date of Monday, May 18 on ABC.
Warner Bros. joins a long list of studios suspending production on TV series and films this week in an effort to curb the spread of the pandemic as President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on Friday.
Prior to the postponement, “The Bachelorette” had already eliminated international travel for the season due to the outbreak. “We’re going to keep it domestic. We might even have to keep it in Los Angeles when it’s all said and done. Who knows?” host Chris Harrison told “People” on Wednesday. “Everything is changing by the hour with this, not even by the day. And so we just have to react, keeping everybody safe.”
A runner-up on Season 18 of “The Bachelor” in 2014, Crawley, who turns 39 next Friday, is the oldest Bachelorette in the show’s history. ABC revealed her crop of 32 suitors on Wednesday, more than half of whom are in their 20s.