Production on The Bachelorette's 2020 season, the Bachelor spin-off's 16th overall, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with more than 70 other Warner Bros. TV productions, according to Entertainment Weekly. (The show, which is broadcast on ABC, is produced by Warner Horizon Television). The season, which will have Bachelor Nation favorite Clare Crawley as the lead, was slated to begin production on Friday, March 13 for a May 18 premiere. It's unknown at this time if that premiere date will change. International travel plans for the season were scrapped previously.
Here's everything we know so far about Season 16 of The Bachelorette, and we will update as we learn more about how the coronavirus pandemic will affect it.
It's currently scheduled to Monday, May 18. Clare's journey will kick off in the franchise's usual two-hour Monday at 8/7c timeslot on ABC. It will arrive after new spin-off The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart, which premieres Monday, April 13, and according to ABC unscripted chief Rob Mills is still on track to premiere then.
The first round of the cast has been released. 32 men were posted on The Bachelorette's Facebook page on Tuesday, March 10. Not all of them will make the final cast — usually the cast tops out at 30 — but one of these men is probably going to become Clare's fiancé in a few months. The photos do not come with full bios, just names, ages, and hometowns, The oldest guy is 42, the youngest is 23, and most are in their mid-to-late 20s. Clare said she has no issue dating men younger than her.
Clare has a long history with the franchise. The Sacramento, California, native first appeared on The Bachelor in 2014, coming in second and memorably telling infamous Bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis off when he disrespected her at the final rose ceremony. She then appeared on the first and second seasons of Bachelor in Paradise in 2014 and 2015, followed by The Bachelor Winter Games in 2018. She was briefly engaged to Benoit Beausejour-Savard, a Canadian contestant she met while that show was filming. He proposed at the show's live reunion, but they split a few months later. Clare, who will turn 39 during filming, will be the oldest lead in franchise history, both Bachelor and Bachelorette, so her season is already making history and destined to be different.
The Bachelorette won't go international this season. One of the franchise's signature elements — travel to exotic locations — has been put on hold for Clare's season, as the COVID-19 virus spreads. ABC reality boss Rob Mills told The Hollywood Reporter that the production is staying in the United States this season. According to Variety, part of the season was scheduled to film in Italy, but that plan has been scrapped as that nation is on lockdown.
The Bachelorette Season 16 is scheduled to premiere Monday, May 18 at 8/7c on ABC.