Chris Harrison is moving to Texas.
The longtime host of The Bachelor is moving far away from the Agoura Hills mansion where the rose-filled reality show normally films, prompting speculation that he is quitting the ABC dating franchise after more than 40 combined seasons.
Harrison, who was born in Dallas, is building a home in the wealthy Barton Creek area of Austin, according to Page Six. The 49-year-old TV host will live there with his longtime girlfriend, entertainment reporter Lauren Zima, and it will enable him to be closer to his son, Joshua, who attends Texas Christian College in Fort Worth.
The move has sparked rumors online that Harrison will no longer host The Bachelor franchise, which he has helmed since 2002.
Earlier this year, fans were confused when Harrison skipped taping several episodes of Tayshia Adams’ season of The Bachelorette and was replaced by show alum JoJo Fletcher. It was later revealed that the dad-of-two simply took a trip to Texas to move his son into his college dorm, then was forced to quarantine upon his return to California due to the health pandemic.
But Harrison’s earlier MIA status, coupled with his upcoming move to the Lone Star State, had some fans speculating on who would be able to fill his shoes as emcee of the reality TV empire.
“IF 2020 ENDS WITH CHRIS HARRISON LEAVING THE BACHELOR I WILL RIOT,” one fan wrote on Twitter.
“If @chrisbharriosn leaves The Bachelor, I will too,” another Twitter user wrote, complete with a broken heart emoji.
“@chrisbharrison this would actually destroy me,” a third fan tweeted. “Hear me out though… a Bachelor mansion in Austin.”
While most commenters reiterated that there is no replacing Harrison, a few fans wrote that Wells Adams and Nick Viall would be good contenders for the job if the longtime host does retire from the series.
Luckily, Harrison won’t be quitting his lucrative role as the host of The Bachelor, Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise. An insider told TMZ that the Emmy-nominated television personality is simply relocating to his home state due to a recent partnership deal he has with a local brewery and that he will commute to Los Angeles for work as needed.
Once the pandemic is over, Harrison will be on the road for filming anyway. The dating show is only filmed at The Bachelor mansion for a short time before production goes on a worldwide road trip for dream dates.