ABC Will Go Live With ‘Bachelorette’

Feb 9, 2004  •  Post A Comment

ABC plans a live broadcast of the special “The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose,” marking the first time the “Bachelor” franchise will air a live event.
The special, which will mark the couple’s first public appearance, has traditionally been taped in advance to air the day after “The Bachelorette” finale.
The switch comes amid the brouhaha over Janet Jackson’s exposed breast during the live Super Bowl halftime show. Andrea Wong, senior VP of alternative series and specials at ABC, said the increased scrutiny of live events didn’t cause ABC to reconsider the live special, something ABC and producer Mike Fleiss discussed doing for previous versions of “The Bachelor” franchise.
“We talked about it and decided to do it well before all the flak of this week,” she said. “It will be on a delay anyway, and historically we haven’t had a problem with shows like this.”
The special will have ABC’s standard five-second delay, so the network will have the ability to edit out inappropriate language.
Ms. Wong said one of the benefits of doing the show live is the sense of immediacy. “The live element brings an excitement and immediacy to every show that you do live,” she said. “The viewer knows that they are getting complete, unfiltered honest reactions that are completely unedited.”
ABC and producers are considering allowing viewers to call in and ask bachelorette Meredith and her chosen man questions in real time, Ms. Wong said.
While a live broadcast would have allowed ABC to run the show on the same night as the finale, the network slated the special for the day after, Thursday, Feb. 26, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. The finale airs Wednesday, Feb. 25, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., so it would have had to move to 8 p.m. and displace ABC’s successful sitcom block of “My Wife and Kids” and “It’s All Relative.”
The special, hosted by Chris Harrison, includes an appearance by the next bachelor, New York Giants quarterback Jesse Palmer.