The Bachelorette Season 16 will be underway sooner than fans might've expected, following the halt of production back in March 2020. Although there is no confirmed date yet, according to Variety, Clare Crawley's Bachelorette season will reportedly begin filming soon. In response to production during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there will be significant changes to the production process as the cast and crew navigate through the filming process. Elite Daily reached out to reps for The Bachelorette about Variety's report, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Per Variety, The Bachelorette will begin filming soon with extra safety precautions in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Since no other major TV shows have resumed production yet, The Bachelorette will likely be the first to pioneer through the uncertain time following the shutdown of the film industry.
The show's production company, Warner Horizon Unscripted, told Variety that the studio is preparing for the production soon. Precautions include cast and crew isolation for the duration of filming, with every crew member remaining on-site. Before entering the quarantined location, everyone will be tested for COVID-19, after which they'll undergo frequent testing and temperature checks. A source familiar with the production explained, “The cast will start traveling very soon because there has to be a quarantine period."
Previous work on filming Season 16 was halted at the start of production in mid-March 2020, and nothing major was shot before filming had to be shut down. Because of the production shutdown, some original contestants will not appear on the show — most notably, Matt James was recast as the lead for The Bachelor Season 25. Chris Harrison previously explained the reasons the production stall would force the team to recast. "The idea that everybody is going to be able to take off work and do this again [is] probably very slim," he said.
While union negotiations are still underway, unions are reportedly approving productions on a case-by-case basis. The Bachelorette is a prime candidate since the show would be able to quarantine the whole cast and crew in an isolated spot, away from studio lots. “We obviously can’t shoot a dating show with people in close quarters where people aren’t cleared and we know everything is safe,” an insider told Variety. “It will be a super safe paradise for everyone to shoot the show.” The insider also told the publication that The Bachelor franchise has always had the health of its cast and crew in mind and an on-set medic, even before the coronavirus pandemic.
“There is always robust care for our team, and that will be the case as they isolate and shoot the show. Production is going above and beyond the recommendations," said the source. In addition to isolating its cast and crew, there will be no visitors or members of the press invited to the set of The Bachelorette Season 16.
While ABC has yet to announce a premiere date, they've revealed viewers can expect The Bachelorette to return sometime in the fall 2020, airing on Tuesdays at 8 p.m.