There is — allegedly — so much chaos going on with The Bachelorette right now. First came the claims that Clare Crawley reportedly quit after falling for one of her contestants in the first two weeks of filming. Then, ET's Lauren Zima (who is famously dating Bachelorette host Chris Harrison) reported that Tayshia Adams was officially replacing Clare as Bachelorette. And all of this came after the show was already about five months behind its usual production timeline, so if you're beginning to wonder how long it takes for The Bachelorette to finish filming and just premiere already, welcome. Let's dig in.
According to People magazine, Clare's Bachelorette season began production in mid-July at La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs, where the cast and crew are being isolated from the outside world to protect them from the possibility of spreading and contracting COVID-19. But Bachelor Nation was thrown into chaos two weeks later, at the end of July, when Us Weekly reported that some of Clare's previously cut contestants were being asked to return, for what is now expected to be Tayshia's season. Assuming that those contestants would need to quarantine for a bit and wait for negative tests safely begin filming, the unavoidable delay would push the start Tayshia season's production to at minimum, mid-August.
But to understand how much time we're looking at — should ABC do its best to stick to the usual production-to-premiere schedule — here's what we know about how long a typical season of The Bachelorette takes to reach its Monday night timeslot.
How Long Does It Take To Film A Bachelorette Season?
In a normal year, The Bachelorette usually begins filming in mid-March and wraps production in early May for a mid-to-late May premiere. For example, Hannah Brown's season kicked off on March 18, 2019 per a tweet from series creator Mike Fleiss.
Hannah then posted on Instagram May 15 that she was back from filming and her season started airing on May 13. This marked the end of Hannah's official limo night-to-engagement filming period, but as we know, the full story wasn't finished on May 15. We all bit our nails throughout the post-engagement meetup footage wherein Hannah broke up with Jed Wyatt after seeing the media coverage during the first few weeks of The Bachelorette airing on ABC.
The Bachelor has a similar two-month timeline. Production on Peter Weber's season started September 19, 2019.
And then he posted that he was done and home nine weeks later by November 23.
However, in June of this year, ABC executive Rob Mills joined On Air With Ryan Seacrest to talk about The Bachelorette filming timeline, and Mills said that they expected Clare's season to tape in "about a month." That's presumably the amount of time Tayshia would get as well.
When Will The Bachelorette Premiere In 2020?
According to the aforementioned People magazine report, ABC was aiming for a late September or early October premiere date. ABC has yet to officially name a date, but the network did release this teaser with Clare which confirmed that the series will air on Tuesdays, rather than Mondays, when it arrives:
They also released a second one that depicts a woman from the waist down, rather than showing a recognizable silhouette.
The late September or early October date was suggested before the supposed Tayshia switch, so I'd set your expectations a little further out, like mid-October. Anything is possible, but it's likely that our wait won't be longer than that for two reasons. One, The Bachelorette edit team is already used to turning around a season in a week or two from the time filming concludes in early May to when it premieres in late May. Second, they've got a major roadblock coming in January and they'll want to ensure nothing will conflict with that, which brings us to...
Will The Bachelor Still Premiere In January?
The good news about all of this is that The Bachelor is almost guaranteed to still premiere at the beginning of January, like normal. Mills told Seacrest that they had planned to tape The Bachelor at the end of September per usual, which should still be possible even with a Bachelorette switch-up. And even if the season does have to begin filming a little later than usual, as long as it wraps by mid-December, there's still a decent amount of time to finish editing footage before the first week of January, when The Bachelor generally premieres.
Host Chris Harrison told Entertainment Tonight in May that the long break between the usual end of Bachelor filming and the January start date gives the show a lot of flexibility. "We shoot in the fall and it airs in the winter, so there actually is a big gap in there because we try to be kind to everybody and we get done right before Thanksgiving and so we can all have a break with our families," he said. He added that, if necessary, "We can shift things considerably."
Any shifting in the usual schedule may not even be necessary since the Bachelor, Matt James, is already cast, which theoretically means production doesn't need as much of a pause between seasons. But from Harrison's comments, it seems clear that the series is dedicated to getting back on schedule in January.