Just hours after the finale of Zach Shallcross’ season of “The Bachelor” aired, a major announcement regarding the players behind the scenes of the long-running franchise emerged. Show creator Mike Fleiss is leaving the franchise entirely, after having been involved since it began. At this point, Fleiss is not sharing much in the way of details regarding his decision to move on from the franchise.
Here’s what you need to know:
Mike Fleiss Declared the Journey Will Continue
Fleiss released a statement regarding his departure, which Deadline and other outlets shared on March 28. “First and foremost, congratulations are in order for Zach and Kaity. I wish them a long and happy life together,” Fleiss’ statement began. “The Bachelor” franchise creator thanked both Warner Bros. TV and ABC “for 21 extraordinary years,” and noted they had “found the perfect creative team for me to entrust ‘The Bachelor’ franchise and keep this lightening (sic) in a bottle bold and moving forward. Let the journey continue.”
“The Bachelor” creator did not go into detail regarding his reasons for stepping away from the franchise now. The team officially taking over was also announced in conjunction with Fleiss statement. As the Los Angeles Times detailed, Bennett Graebner, Claire Freeland, and Jason Ehrlich will be showrunners and executive producers for the franchise going forward. Freeland was previously the showrunner for the Canadian “Bachelor” shows, while Ehrlich and Graebner have been with the U.S. franchise for some time. According to Variety, neither Warner Bros. TV nor ABC has publicly commented on Fleiss’ departure so far, and the new team is already at work with the filming of Charity Lawson’s upcoming season of “The Bachelorette.” Sources for Variety also noted that for the past decade, Fleiss has not had a hands-on role in the day-to-day happenings within the franchise.
Fleiss Did Not Reveal Any Further Plans
Even though Fleiss has not been heavily involved in the franchise in recent years, he still tweeted about it often. “The Bachelor” creator frequently posted enticing teasers about possible developments within the franchise, and on March 14, he tweeted, “We will do better!!!” in response to the criticism the franchise has faced regarding addressing serious topics. The post came directly after the “Women Tell All” episode of “The Bachelor” where Greer Blitzer addressed her past social media posts involving blackface. In addition to retweeting “Bachelor” franchise-related posts regularly, Fleiss has also shared teasers such as “Major announcement coming soon,” which came on February 15. In January, Fleiss similarly tweeted, “Massive Announcement regarding #TheBachelor coming on Monday… Most dramatic announcement EVER!!!”
What will Fleiss do after his departure from “The Bachelor” franchise? As Fleiss’ IMDb page notes, he has been producing television shows and movies since 1995, and he has taken on writing and directing roles too. Most, but not all, of his projects have been within the reality television genre, including “Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?” and the more recent show “The Proposal.” According to Celebrity Net Worth, Fleiss’ decades working in the entertainment industry have provided him with a net worth estimated at $140 million, which suggests he has the resources to take his time to decide what comes next. Will his departure from “The Bachelor” franchise spark any significant changes in terms of what viewers see transpire? “Bachelor Nation” fans will be curious to see what comes next.