After a strange year for Bachelor Nation (and the world, TBH), things are finally starting to look a little more normal, at least where the franchise is concerned. After filming delays due to the coronavirus pandemic caused Bachelor in Paradise to take a year off and led to a change in location and timeline for Season 16 of The Bachelorette, Matt James' Bachelor Season 25 schedule appears to get things back on track. And it seems like 2021 *might* see a full lineup of regularly-scheduled Bachelor shows.
Traditionally, a Bachelor season is filmed for about two months. According to Variety, Matt went into quarantine in September and filming officially began in October. With Matt's return to social media just before Thanksgiving, it looks like production was on its usual schedule. So, with a premiere date at the start of January (just like past Bachelor seasons, including Season 24 with Peter), it appears things are pretty much back to normal — at least timing-wise — in the world of The Bachelor. That means fans should expect a finale sometime around the start of March.
That leaves a whole lot of year left for Bach content. Looking at the traditional timeline, a Bachelorette premiere would typically happen sometime in May, followed by a Bachelor in Paradise premiere in August.
As of Jan. 5 it's unclear whether The Bachelorette and BIP will return in 2021, but the smoothness of Matt's season is promising. While some protocols have changed due to the pandemic (like the filming locations and lack of international travel), by now, it appears producers know how to pull off a COVID-conscious season.
While Season 25 looks quite similar to past ones, the way Matt became the lead was a bit unorthodox. Matt was already well-known within Bachelor Nation due to his friendship with former Bachelorette contestant Tyler Cameron, so it wasn't a huge surprise when he was cast as a contestant for Clare Crawley's Bachelorette season in early 2020. Prior to filming Clare's season, however, the producers changed their minds and asked Matt to be The Bachelor's Season 25 lead instead.
Despite not being versed in the world of Bachelor filming, Matt's up to the challenge. His premiere on Jan. 4 showcased his good humor, personal values, and desire to find a lifelong partner. Fans will just have to wait what's in store for him — and for the franchise — as 2021 unfolds.
Season 25 of The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.