Chris Harrison says filming for the upcoming season of The Bachelorette may have to move to a new state.
In a new interview, the longtime ABC host said the state of California — the iconic Bachelor mansion is located in Agoura Hills — is moving too slowly amid the coronavirus pandemic. In March, the health crisis forced the shutdown of most film and television productions just as Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette was about to start filming.
With no restrictions lifted as of yet, Harrison revealed that the “tentative” plan is to shoot The Bachelorette in June or July, with the hopes of squeezing in production of the spinoff Bachelor in Paradise before moving on to the next cycle of The Bachelor this fall. But Harrison noted that “things don’t seem to be progressing very quickly” when it comes to restrictions on social distancing in California.
“I don’t know, maybe we have to get out of California,” Harrison told Entertainment Weekly. “The politics of California are not helping anybody at this point. Maybe you have to go to a state where things are opening up quicker.”
With some states loosening restrictions on quarantine and beginning to open businesses and parks, the frustrated Bachelorette host didn’t rule out a relocation for the long-running ABC dating show as he elaborated on the situation in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“The state of California just took a big step back,” Harrison said. “Who knows what is going on, so maybe we leave. Maybe we have to go to a state that has their stuff together and we can shoot. Maybe we are doing this in Texas — I don’t know.”
The Bachelorette previously began a season outside of the famous Bachelor mansion when Emily Maynard was the leading lady in 2012. The single mom wanted to remain in her North Carolina hometown so she wouldn’t be away from her daughter for too long. In addition, in Season 3, Jen Schefft’s season kicked off in New York City.
Bachelor producers have vowed to give Clare her shot at finding love, but they have reiterated that they won’t start production on her season of the ABC dating show until it is safe to do so.
While there has been talk of a “quarantine” version of The Bachelorette set in a sequestered resort location with no travel, Harrison said he wants to do it right because he is seeing a lot of things on TV right now that he is not “loving.” He admitted that whatever happens, the star and production team won’t be back to normal “flying around the world and just doing what we want,” but he noted that he hopes they can find a “happy medium.”
The ABC host shot down any ideas of doing a quarantine edition of the show via a video conferencing mode such as Zoom. He noted that the advantage of the on-location Bachelor franchise is that they can adjust filming much more than a production that is shot at a studio or on a lot. The Bachelorette host explained that his show can shoot anywhere with any amount of people, so they can “adjust” better than most television shows and “make good TV quicker.”