The upcoming season of The Bachelorette hasn't even aired yet and it's already been full of unexpected twists and turns. The coronavirus pandemic delayed filming schedules, the contestants were recast, and a second Bachelorette was reportedly brought in — and those are just a few of the changes. So, if you're wondering when The Bachelorette Season 16 will air on ABC, you're probably not alone. Luckily, fans finally have a solid answer.
Originally, Clare's season of The Bachelorette was set to premiere on May 18 on ABC. However, on March 13, Warner Bros. announced filming for Clare's season was postponed indefinitely. The on July 14, Us Weekly reported the season was starting back up, and contestants would film, date, and quarantine at California's La Quinta Resort & Club to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus. The next day, The Daily Mail revealed footage of Clare filming at that resort, meaning production had finally begun — nearly four months behind schedule.
On top of a production delay, this season faced other unprecedented changes that may have affected the airdate. For example, producers reportedly brought in Tayshia Adams as a second Bachelorette only a few weeks after production started back up. According to multiple outlets, Season 16's original lead, Clare Crawley, fell for one of her contestants, Dale Moss, and decided to leave the show partway through filming. However, production reportedly didn't stop for this rumored switcheroo, so thing should still be going according to the revised, coronavirus-influenced plan.
The fun doesn't stop there. On Aug. 13 it was reported that producers had JoJo Fletcher act as an interim host mid-season, because Chris Harrison apparently had to quarantine for two weeks away from the cast and crew after leaving set to bring his son to college.
With the show still undergoing changes as late in the game as mid-August, it's probably not shocking ABC took a while to announce a new air date for Season 16 of The Bachelorette. However, on Aug. 27, the network finally revealed when the big day will come: The Bachelorette Season 16 will premiere on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m. ET. (ABC had already announced in June that Season 16 of The Bachelorette would air on Tuesdays instead of Mondays, to keep Dancing With The Stars in its usual Monday night time slot.)
The date announcement also came with a new photo to promote the seasons, depicting a cool and confident-looking Clare holding up a rose while an out-of-focus man's leg is shown getting dressed in the foreground. It's pretty much a direct homage to the movie poster for the classic film The Graduate, which centers around a young man forming a relationship with an older woman. (At 39, Clare is the oldest Bachelorette yet, so producers are apparently rolling with the whole age gimmick this time around.) What this symbolism exactly means for Clare's Bachelorette journey is still unknown, but at least fans can be sure they'll start to get answers on Oct. 13.
Editor's Note: This post was updated on Aug. 27 to indicate the premiere date of The Bachelorette Season 16.
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