Ratings for the first full season of a “Bachelor” show without canceled host Chris Harrison are in, and they’re some of the lowest in franchise history.
According to Deadline, the first episode of this year’s “Bachelorette” run premiered to record-low viewership for the franchise. “Although the Season 17 premiere bowed to 3.59M viewers and a 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic, per early Nielsen Live+Same Day numbers,” the outlet reported, “it marked the lowest premiere in the series’ history.” By contrast, the October 2020 premiere of the 16th season of “The Bachelorette” drew 4.76 million viewers.
And things have only gotten worse from there.
Episode two of the once-dominant reality dating show dropped to 3.2 million viewers, coming in second to a rerun of the CBS sitcom “Neighborhood.” Overall, this season is down more than 20% in total viewership and 30% in the younger demographic bracket most coveted among advertisers. Yet the only significant change is the host. In Harrison’s absence, “Bachelorette” alums Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe have shared the gig.
As The Daily Wire has reported, left-wing critics attacked Harrison after he suggested that fans should reconsider canceling a contestant for a past that included attending an antebellum-themed fraternity party, once wearing a Native American-style outfit to a costume party and “liking” a friend’s Instagram selfie with an easy-to-miss Confederate flag in the background.
“We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion. Because I have seen some stuff online — this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart and diving into, like, her parents, her parents’ voting record. It’s unbelievably alarming to watch this,” Harrison said in February of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, adding that he is not the “woke police.”
These mild remarks, which Harrison later apologized for, landed his head on the chopping block. A social media mob, fueled in part by outrage from former-participant-turned-entertainment-reporter Rachael Lindsay (who said she was glad to see Harrison off the show), demanded his ouster.
“Chris has stepped aside, which I think is the right decision because, like he said, he needs to take time to get educated and on a profound and productive level to use his word,” Lindsay said at the time. “And I think he needs to understand what was done, what was wrong, and what he said in that interview, and he needs time. He’s stepped away to do that.”
When it became clear that ABC was never going to reinstate him to his previous role, Harrison left the show with a reported eight-figure payout.
On the day his departure was announced, the 49-year-old Dallas native released a statement to Instagram, saying, “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter. I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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