On Sunday, Warner Bros. shut down production on Season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise while it conducts an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct that occurred on-set. The cast was sent home with no plans to reconvene to continue shooting.
There's no timetable for the investigation, and host Chris Harrison is urging fans to have patience. Shooting wouldn't resume until the investigation is complete, and even if the show were to reconvene, it wouldn't be able to meet the August 8 premiere date. Shooting on Bachelor in Paradise is just 18 days long, and they've already lost a week of filming (production halted last Tuesday before the cast got sent home Sunday). Pushing it back would mess with the rest of ABC's schedule, and it's probably just not worth it now. A source close to the production told People that Season 4 is kaput, and Bachelor expert Reality Steve said the same thing.
But what about beyond Season 4? Could Bachelor in Paradise be back next summer? It's possible, but it's unlikely at this point.
As Reality Steve puts it, "Bachelor in Paradise will always be synonymous now with the words 'sexual misconduct/assault,' and that's why I believe the show title is going away." It's just common sense that the franchise will try to distance itself from the Bachelor in Paradise name. No matter what actually happened, the association with sexual assault will be permanent, like how Megan Wants a Millionaire is associated with murder. The show will eventually slide out of public consciousness if it's canceled, but when it gets thought of this will be what it's remembered for.
Instead, producers could opt to bring back the more competition-oriented format of previous summer series Bachelor Pad or what it sounds like the Bachelor Winter Games are going to be. Or they could do something else entirely. It's possible they might not do a show next summer, but probably unlikely considering the ratings the Bachelor franchise pulls in for ABC. Whatever they do, Warner Bros. will want to impose more rigorous oversight standards to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.
A Warner Bros. spokesperson declined to comment on the possibility of Bachelor in Paradise coming back this summer or beyond. ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey told EW that "[Warner Bros. subsidiary] Warner Horizon produces the show so we have to wait for them to conclude their investigation before any next steps."
So while Bachelor in Paradise isn't officially canceled yet, it would be a surprise if it comes back.