With Bachelor franchise staple Chris Harrison announcing his decision to step aside from his hosting duties, many are wondering who ABC will hire to fill his shoes — whether that be temporarily or permanently.
A new report from OK! Magazine suggests that the person whom ABC would like to take the helm is Michael Strahan. A source told the outlet that producers began looking at Strahan after the role was offered to and subsequently declined by former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay.
“They needed someone who was not only popular and charming but also have a massive amount of live TV experience — which is why they want Michael Strahan. There is so much concern about the future of the show within ABC. If they don’t get this episode right they could kill the cash cow. There is talk about taping the show rather than doing it live,” an insider told the outlet.
Here’s what you need to know:
Michael Strahan May Be an Obvious Choice Since He’s Already Part of the ABC Family
Michael Strahan is well-liked, and he’s already a part of the ABC family, which makes him a good choice to replace Harrison if ABC decides to go that route. OK! Magazine’s source pointed out that having a Black man host the After the Final Rose special, and interview the franchise’s first Black Bachelor star is “appealing.”
“This way, producers will be able to have total control. Inside ABC, the thought of the show’s first Black ‘Bachelor,’ Matt James, having an honest conversation with Michael Strahan is very appealing. The last thing they need is Matt talking about racism and the Black experience with another dude who looks and thinks like Chris Harrison,” the source explained.
On Saturday, Emmanuel Acho confirmed that he inked a deal to host ATFR, but it’s still unclear who the host of the show will be once it returns for the new season of The Bachelorette.
Strahan has been a staple on Good Morning America ever since joining the show full time back in 2016. Earlier this year, Strahan tested positive for COVID-19 and needed to take some time off. According to TMZ, Strahan was not experiencing any “severe symptoms,” and was able to make a remote appearance at his other job — on FOX NFL Sunday.
Strahan has years of hosting experience. Prior to GMA, he was on several episodes of Entertainment Tonight and The View. In addition to his talk show experiences, he’s done plenty of work in the sports world. He also hosted a game show (The $100,000 Pyramid), and has more than a dozen acting credits to his name, according to IMDb.
It’s Unclear if Chris Harrison Will Ever Return as the Host
As the days go by, more and more people are wondering what Chris Harrison’s fate will be. While his Instagram announcement made many fans believe that his hiatus from the show was temporary, it is becoming more and more likely that he won’t return to his hosting duties on The Bachelor franchise at all.
The first order of business for the franchise is to find someone to host the After the Final Rose special. It was supposed to tape this weekend, according to Reality Steve (usually the show is live, but, due to COVID, changes needed to be made).
“ABC is in full scramble mode behind the scenes trying to find an ATFR host, trying to find a host for the show going forward in the immediate future, and locking down their next ‘Bachelorette.’ I think I’m getting closer to finding out the location for next seasons filming. The state I’m sure on. They aren’t going cold weather, so that’s good. But I’m telling you, when I do announce where it is, I don’t think anyone will be wow’ed,” Reality Steve wrote in his blog.
From there, it’s possible the same chosen host will return for duties on The Bachelorette, and the upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise. It’s also possible that ABC finds a different person for those two seasons (and beyond), and it’s also possible that Chris Harrison returns. Nothing has been set in stone at this time.