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'Bachelor' exec answers burning questions about Zachary Cross season and franchise future

There are few certainties over time, but one seems to be this: Every January, ABC launches a brand new season The Bachelor — this year’s Zach Shallcross selection for distribution Roses — and there will be no shortage of contestants accused of “just cause” not being here.

The long-running dating franchise continues to generate tons of conversations, and it’s true Memorable but bumpy The Bachelorette last season, the next two Co-stars Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia are currently dating their pick from the show . Shallcross kicked off his second chance at love on Monday after leaving the show heartbroken following an unaired conversation with Recchia.

Walt Disney Television EVP Impromptu and Substitute Rob Mills chats with The Hollywood Reporter

prior to release About casting challenges, the importance of finding couples who can stick it out, and whether viewers will root for senior bachelors. The interview below is expanded from a

conversation posted Friday focused on a broader understanding of current unscripted television landscape.

on Gabby and Rachel’s collaboration season The Bachelorette A drastic refresh of the format might be a good thing. Is that part of the intention and how do you feel about their season now?

I definitely think The Bachelor The real producers of the show are the viewers. You’re always listening to what they want to see and what they don’t want to see. But in terms of Gabi and Rachel as The Bachelorette, it’s really more about how Clayton does this season. It feels like every time he tries to break up with them, he breaks up with them. Sit after the last rose and tell one of the girls, “You’re going to be a bachelorette” and the other girl, “You’re not.” It really came from this. Our need to blow up formats is not by design or consideration. As with everything, you just have to follow where the story is going, and when you do, you’re usually rewarded. I think that’s what we’re so excited about this season of Zach because it’s great, classic Bachelor storytelling.

On Netflix, Dating Series Ultimatum is coming back for an LGBTQ season. Have you discussed with your team about experimenting with LGBTQ dating, whether it’s the Bachelor brand or something else?

We watch everything. You want it to be the right thing to do and not feel like you’re just doing it for the sake of it, but it has to be purposeful and right. But absolutely, we should be paying attention to all of these things.

RACHEL RECCHIA and ZACH Part on the LIVE two night Bachelorette finale event.

Rachel Recchia and Zach Shallcross live for two nights Bachelorette finale event Craig Scherding/ABC

Bachelor Does the franchise need to stay a long-lasting couple in order to keep viewers engaged, or do you think the show is engaging enough ?

Having a long-lasting couple is very important to us. Obviously, this is very difficult. A lot of couples haven’t been together lately, so this is obviously not something you want to do. We have to remember that we have had other successful Bachelorette couples. Serene [Russell], Brandon [Jones] — guys we saw in Bachelor in Paradise — are still doing great. We went into Gabby and Rachel’s season thinking it was twice the Bachelorette, and therefore twice the successful couple. So it’s disappointing that we didn’t live up to their demands.

However, the other thing that comes with the bad acting is that these guys do learn a lot about themselves and find themselves ready to settle down and find themselves people. Matt James and Rachel are still going strong and we hope Zach’s season will be the same . But yeah, absolutely, and for us, at the top of the list are successful couples because the audience is invested in them and you want to make sure they’re still invested. If it looks like a show that’s just drama for drama’s sake, then they’ll lose interest.

first time since ABC talked about doing a golden years Edition of The Bachelor . Any updates on this?

This is the one I get asked the most, which means people really like it the idea. The most important thing to us is that we find the right people, whether it’s The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, everyone wants to see us tell their story, and everyone is invested in seeing them find love. So we’re still casting, we’re looking — but once we find that perfect guy, we’re absolutely going to do it.

After Matt became the first-ever black lead, social media hit Zach The season representing the second straight white star was debated. Why Zach was the right choice?

I think it’s a feeling. We were lucky enough to meet some great people during Gabby and Rachel’s season of the Bachelorette. Zach seemed to be the right guy — the guy who really wanted to find his guy and settle down, and just thought, at this point, he’d be the right guy, and that’s how we do it every season. Obviously, we’ve made great strides in terms of diversity. We need to keep doing more, and we will. But everyone will see that Zach is a great bachelor, just like any other candidate we’ve come across.

One of the talking points of Gabby and Rachel’s season is the resurfaced Erich Schwer’s black Face photo, he proposed to Gabby on the show, and they broke up shortly after. Should the review process continue to evolve?

It’s always in development, so we’re obviously trying to get better. Obviously, your goal is zero problems. As we go season by season, we try to get better and better because we hate these problems. I do think we’re improving, and we’re learning how to refine it as we keep doing that.

It was said earlier that Michael A. might be a good bachelor, and then as we said in a recent As seen in Bachelor in Paradise , he may be 1280927 intends to find love on that show . What do you think of Paradise‘s evolution after its latest season?

For us, it’s really about making sure we focus on the story, and making sure What you really want to see is someone who fell in love all over again. It’s so comforting to see people like Michael A., Serene and Brandon, even failed love stories. You get really invested in these people and they fall in love — that’s the most important thing. As we continue to grow the Bachelor series, at the end of the day it’s still always about love and telling the stories of these people in the best way possible.

Interview edited for length and clarity.

Zach Shallcross’ season of The Bachelor starts Monday at 8pm Premieres on ABC.

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