ABC Chief On Future Of ‘The Golden Bachelor’ Post-Divorce & More Franchise Extensions

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The Golden Bachelor was probably the television event last year,” ABC TV Group President Craig Erwich said in an interview with Deadline on the day of the Disney upfront presentation. The Bachelor offshoot was so successful, it spawned a highly rated special, The Golden Wedding.

But just three months after Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist tied the knot, they filed for divorce having never lived together. The controversy raised questions about the future of the franchise whose previously ordered spinoff, The Golden Bachelorette, premieres this fall.

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The Golden Bachelor is not going anywhere, Erwich suggested.

“I think Golden Bachelor is a show that’s about finding love at a later age. It’s incredibly root-able, it’s aspirational, and that franchise and those values extend to a lot of different people and a lot of different stories. So we’re very dedicated to this franchise,” he said.

With the success of turning The Bachelor “Golden,” there has been talk that ABC may use the same approach for “Golden” versions of other reality shows, like American Idol or Dancing With the Stars, the latter of which regularly features older contestants. That won’t necessarily be the case but there is a spiritual connection, according to Erwich.

“I think there’s a theme of Golden Bachelor, which is so much about heart, humor and aspiration, and I think when you watch other shows on ABC, whether it’s Dancing With The Stars or American Idol, they have those qualities,” he said. “If you look at a show that we’ve recently picked up, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, I think that shares many characteristics of Golden Bachelor, something to root for, makes you feel good, it’s something you can watch with your family. So the themes of Golden Bachelor are something that we’re very focused on versus these very specific contours of that format.”

No second season of The Golden Bachelor has been announced yet but if/when that happens, its episodes will likely be longer than the one-hour installments of Season 1. ABC today unveiled its fall schedule featuring a 90-minute Golden Bachelorette on Wednesdays.

“The first Golden Bachelorette has an incredible story, and although we were thrilled with the results, last year we felt that there were still story elements, characters and aspects of the show that 90 minutes can really capture the full essence of,” Erwich said.

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