After Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor dramatic finale on Tuesday night, the franchise simultaneously kicked off the next cycle of The Bachelorette starring Clare Crawley. The 38-year-old hairstylist was slated to strated filming at the Bachelor Mansion on Friday, but production is dealing with a major issue behind the scenes: Coronavirus.
On March 13, production of The Bachelorette Season 16 was officially postponed while the COVID-19 pandemic spreads throughout the world. Warner Bros., which producers the long-running ABC reality dating series issued the following statement:
“With the rapidly changing events related to COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, Warner Bros. Television Group is halting production on some of our 70+ series and pilots currently filming or about to begin. There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on any of our productions, but the health and safety of our employees, casts, and crews remains our top priority.”
Host Chris Harrison announced via Instagram that production has been delayed for a minimum of two weeks. Harrison said, “It wasn’t just the right thing to do, it was the only thing to do.”
The show will absolutely go on, but it will have to do so carefully, and at a time when it’s safe. According to Reality Steve, production has already locked down Chattanooga, Tennessee as the location for episode 4, however, the international locations planned afterward might have to be scrapped.
The blogger wrote that The Bachelorette had plans to travel to Rome, however, the entire country of Italy is on lockdown. With the death rate from coronavirus exponentially growing at an alarming rate, and President Trump declaring a national emergency, almost all international has come to an abrupt halt.
Clare Crawley Was Slated To Film The Limo Meet & Greets On March 13
Clare’s 30 suitors were supposed to move into The Bachelor mansion this week, and she was scheduled to film the limo entrance meet and greets on March 13. The first group date was to shoot on March 15, and the first 1-on-1 on March 16. Clare was already allegedly spotted filming a lunch with former Bachelor ex, Benoît Beauséjour-Savard, in Sacramento, California.
However, if there’s any reality TV series that can pull off such high-stakes last-minute travel changes once the coronavirus reaches a confirmed level of containment, we can depend on the Bachelor Nation production team to make magic happen.
With international travel off the table during Clare’s season, the odds of spoilers getting out before the show starts airing is inevitable. Like Peter’s date with Victoria F. at Chace Rice’s concert, his soap-box derby race with Kelsey Weier, and line-dancing with Victoria P., any public 1-on-1 or group date filmed in a U.S. city will likely be spoiled by fellow attendees with their I-phones.
Even in America, certain cities may continue to be off-limits due to coronavirus. On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo established a “containment area” in New Rochelle. In a news conference, Cuomo said, ““It is a dramatic action, but it is the largest cluster in the country, and this is literally a matter of life and death. That is not a rhetorical statement.”
While it’s impossible to know how rapidly coronavirus will continue to spread, or which cities will become a hot zone, it’s very possible that government officials in other states will replicate Cuomo’s “containment area” prevention plan as a course of action.