If there's one thing we can all agree on in these strange, strange times, it's that we're allowed to mourn the loss of our usual routines. With most of the U.S. under shelter-in-place rules as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, we're going without things that make life fun: Weddings, birthday parties, vacations, and of course, live tweeting new seasons of The Bachelorette. While Clare Crawley's Bachelorette season is delayed until further notice, many fans are holding out hope for the 2020 season of Bachelor in Paradise. While not much is known about how long this lockdown will last, filming for Paradise doesn't generally start until June. There's still some hope it could happen, and it turns out no one's carrying a bigger helping of optimism than Bachelor Nation's host with the most Chris Harrison.
"I like to be optimistic and so I'm going to stay with that until I hear otherwise," Harrison tells Refinery29 via video chat on April 8.
While the host obviously wants to give fans a great summer filled with drama and cocktails by Wells Adams, his biggest concern with getting the show back on the road are the hundreds of crew members who are out of work until production resumes.
"I'm champing at the bit and it's not sexy, but I want to put everyone back to work. We have a huge family of people that you guys don't get to see. I am grateful I get to be the voice and the face of this, but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people behind the scenes. They want to get back to work and we are going to put them all back to work as soon as we can get back," he says.
TV and film production have been some of the hardest hit industries since a stay at home order went into effect in Los Angeles, where The Bachelor is filmed, on March 20. Many behind the scenes roles are freelance, and film and TV production is, by definition, an in-person medium. So while we wait for the country to re-open, those production assistants, camera people, gaffers, craft services caterers, makeup artists, stylists, and field producers are all out of work. There's no such thing as producing The Bachelor from home.
"We have a huge family of people that you guys don't get to see. I am grateful I get to be the voice and the face of this, but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people behind the scenes. They want to get back to work..."
But even if ABC gives the call to get the whole crew back together, getting episodes actually made will take time. In addition to casting Paradise contestants, there are weeks of prep work that go into setting up the resort in Mexico, and preparing for all those wild dates in the outside world. And the weddings. It's not Bachelor in Paradise without a wedding.
"It's not just, Okay, we're out of quarantine. Great. The Bachelor is on. That's not how it works. We have to set up production, then we have to go shoot the show. There's a lot of things that go into making the show and then getting it on TV," notes Harrison.
That could mean that if it does manage to come together this summer, there might be delays in the usual Bachelor-verse schedule after the April 13 debut of The Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart, which thankfully completed filming before lockdown.
"Will it be our regular schedule? Will the calendar shift? I don't know," says Harrison. "We'll have to just wait and see how long this thing lasts."