Chris Harrison has big plans post-Bachelor Nation.
The former host of “The Bachelor” franchise, who announced his exit from the TV dating series amid controversy over his defense of “Bachelor” winner Rachael Kirkconnell’s past attendance at an Old South party, is already working on his to return to television. Harrison, 49, is said to be eyeing a rival show that will take down his former franchise once and for all.
An insider told OK magazine that Harrison is waiting out his legal requirements following his departure deal with ABC, but that he plans to return to television full force as the “face” of a new dating show.
“He’s taking a year off, but as soon as his non-compete expires, he’ll be back on another channel,” the source told the outlet. The insider added that Harrison is “already boasting” about how his future show will rival “The Bachelor.”
“He’s telling people with a straight face that he’s the best at the job by a million miles,” the source dished. “He figures revenge will be sweet when he can ram his post-‘Bachelor’ success down everyone’s throats!”
Harrison Felt He Was Pushed Out of His Job on ‘The Bachelor’
Harrison’s departure from “The Bachelor” came after he received backlash for his controversial comments about Kirkconnell’s past actions during an “Extra” interview with former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay. The veteran TV host vowed to return to his long-running show after taking a step back to reflect on his insensitive comments.
Harrison stepped away from “The Bachelor” as Matt James’ season was airing and he sat out Katie Thurston’s season of “The Bachelorette” with the full intention of returning to the franchise, according to Variety. A production insider told The Hollywood Reporter that as production for the seventh season of “Bachelor in Paradise” began, Harrison was still trying to save his job on the rose-filled reality franchise.
“Both sides had the intention of Chris returning, and he was putting in the work in order to make that happen. And then it suddenly took a turn. He was iced out,” the source told THR.
By the time it was announced that a rotating lineup of comedians and rappers would take his place on “Bachelor in Paradise,” Harrison knew his days were numbered. He hired “super lawyer” Bryan Freedman to negotiate a settlement with ABC and Warner Bros., according to Page Six.
In early June 2021, Variety reported that Harrison’s exit package totaled about $10 million.
Harrison’s Hosting Career Dates Back More Than 20 Years
Harrison’s TV resume dates back more than two decades. While he is best known for hosting “The Bachelor” and its multiple spinoffs since 2002, he has several other hosting gigs under his belt.
According to his IMDb page, Harrison hosted “Mall Masters” and “The Quarters” before scoring his long-running gig as ABC’s rose master. He has also hosted “Hollywood 411” and “The Miss America Pageant” and has helmed more than 700 episodes of the TV game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”
In a 2016 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Harrison said he felt honored to still be a part of “The Bachelor” franchise as the show headed into its 20th male-led season.
“I’ve always felt blessed to be a part of this franchise, especially since just a few of us have been there since day 1 and from the very first limo, so it’s surreal and oddly emotional to think about,” he said at the time. “It doesn’t happen in this business no matter how great your show is — there’s usually a shelf life.”