ABC has announced its full schedule for next season, and one of the big headlines is that Season 16 of The Bachelorette will be a part of the network's Tuesday night lineup. According to Entertainment Weekly, that news represents a shift for the show, which usually airs over the summer. It had previously been announced that filming for the show was postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the new schedule, ABC does not include any specific dates. The announcement doesn't even use the word "fall." Instead, it suggests that production on all of these shows will resume as soon as it is safe to do so.
There are a number of shows missing from this lineup, including The Bachelor, which recently announced its next Bachelor. The Bachelor is set to air later in the year, along with shows like American Idol and Black-ish.Matt James, who was announced as the next Bachelor, was originally announced as part of the cast for Crawley's season of The Bachelorette. After The Bachelorette was delayed because of the virus, producers said they got a chance to get to know James better, and ultimately decided he would be a perfect fit for The Bachelor. James will be the first black lead in the show's history.
"Matt was somebody who was on our radar and we were thinking about him. We were thinking do we announce him early, or do we put him on Clare's season and then announce him later, if it doesn't work out with Clare? We didn't make a final decision until recently, but this has been talked about for quite some time," said Rob Mills, the head of unscripted entertainment at ABC, according to Variety.
James is a somewhat unusual choice for the role of the Bachelor in part because fans of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette don't know who he is yet. Typically, the next Bachelor or Bachelorette is chosen from the pool of contestants who didn't ultimately get their happily ever after in a previous season.
In addition to The Bachelorette, ABC also announced some new shows that would be coming to its schedule when normal TV production can resume. One of those new projects is a revival of Supermarket Sweep hosted by Leslie Jones. There's also a new drama series from Big Little Lies writer David E. Kelly.
The network has also moved The Conners, its modified reboot of Roseanne, into the spot that Modern Family has filled for more than a decade on Wednesday nights.