Apparently, that 2020 Bachelor spinoff didn't fade into obscurity like we all thought. As the country attempts to slowly (so, so slowly) return to normal, ABC is moving forward with its Bachelor-inspired dating show for seniors. The series was first announced in early 2020, just before the Coronavirus pandemic had taken shape in the U.S. For obvious reasons, the show was shelved for the past year as ABC struggled to even produce The Bachelorette and Bachelor out safely and on schedule. But during the Feb. 1 Bachelor episode, ABC announced that the show was once again looking to cast "seniors looking for love."
According to Variety, the series was originally planned for a fall 2020 air date. While the series was never officially announced as cancelled or delayed, a fall 2020 premiere obviously didn't happen.
The prospect of a seniors-only Bachelor spinoff faded into the background as The Bachelor and Bachelorette were only able to resume filming during the pandemic thanks to a strict quarantining and testing protocol. While the bubble protocol worked for both series, it was still a calculated risk that may have been too risky for contestants in an age group that is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Now, however, COVID-19 vaccine distribution has begun, with many states prioritizing people over age 65.
It still seems a bit risky to film a show starring senior citizens until the vaccine has fully rolled out, but all that's been announced so far is that ABC seeking applications for potential contestants. For most Bachelor Nation series, filming doesn't begin until a few months before the series premieres. Refinery29 has reached out to ABC for further details, but did not immediately receive a response.
Other than the fact that it will be a dating show for seniors looking for "a committed relationship," it's not clear if the series will follow The Bachelor and Bachelorette formulas or take a form more like Bachelor in Paradise, where many men and women enter the show at once and pair off. Either way, ABC executive Rob Mills told Variety, back when the show was announced, that we can still expect hometown dates — only this time, the suitors will be meeting the kids, not the parents.
"It's such a different way of doing The Bachelor because these people are just at a totally different place in their lives," Mills added. "There is an interesting thing about people who have hit the other end of the spectrum, who've lived their lives, they've raised their kids, some have been widowed or divorced and maybe some have never been in love. We thought that would be an interesting dynamic through the Bachelor prism."
So, if you're counting down to the moment it's safe for your grandma to hit the dating scene again, you know where to find the application.