The ratings for The Bachelor finale are in — and they are quite a bit lower than last season’s ratings. According to TV Insider, the finale ratings were higher than the previous, penultimate episode of the show, but they were lower than the Season 24 finale ratings, which aired around the same time (March) of last year.
The finale brought in 5.75 million viewers, while the previous season finale saw 7.7 million viewers tune in to watch Peter “Pilot Pete” Weber narrow down his dating pool to one.
According to Reality Steve, more people watched the finale of Matt James’ season of The Bachelor than they did the premiere episode. Steve pointed out that ratings have been “down everywhere since the pandemic started.”
“The gain from Matt’s first episode (5 million) to the finale (5.75 million) wasn’t a huge gain,” Reality Steve wrote on his blog.
Here’s what you need to know:
Ratings for ‘After the Final Rose’ Were Much Lower for Matt’s Season
The After the Final Rose special was highly-anticipated, whether viewers were made aware of season spoilers or not.
Fans of the show seemed torn on whether or not to watch the after-show-special because longtime host Chris Harrison was replaced by Emmanuel Acho after he decided to step aside for a bit. Harrison’s decision came after an interview with former Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay. A racism controversy ensued, leading to Harrison issuing two public apologies (one on Instagram and the other on Good Morning America).
The numbers for Monday night’s hour-long episode of After the Final Rose were much lower for Matt’s season. A total of 5.2 million viewers tuned in to watch Matt sit down with each of his final two women; Rachael Kirkconnell and Michelle Young.
To compare, Peter’s ATFR saw 8.5 million viewers.
The ‘Bachelor’ Franchise Wouldn’t Be Adding Seasons if They Were Struggling, Reality Steve Says
Ratings for the recently-wrapped season of The Bachelor are particularly interesting because of how things played out both on and off the show. There was a lot of bullying happening between some of the women that were vying for Matt’s heart, more than viewers had ever seen in the past.
In additional, there was a lot of discussion about race, with Matt being the very first Black Bachelor to hand out roses. Beyond that, there were several things that happened off the show that caused many viewers to say that they were going to boycott the franchise. Those things included photos of Rachael at an Old South formal, and the aforementioned conversation between Chris Harrison and Rachel Lindsay in which Chris made some racially insensitive comments.
Some fans have been unhappy with franchise producers for not speaking out and doing more to defend BIPOC, while others have spoken out in hopes that Chris would return to the show following his apologies. While Chris will not return to host Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette, his future with the franchise is unclear.
According to Reality Steve, the franchise doesn’t seem too worried about viewership or a ratings drop.
“Overall, the fact this franchise just added a second ‘Bachelorette’ season kinda shows they’re not on their way out. If they were struggling, they wouldn’t be adding shows to their lineup,” he blogged.
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