ABC Considering Diversifying 'The Bachelor'

Brad Womack and the women of "The Bachelor," Jan. 2011 Brad Womack and the women of "The Bachelor," Jan. 2011

“The Bachelor” threw viewers a twist when they announced late last year that they were bringing Brad Womack back for a second search for love, and it appears that might not be the only surprise casting choice in the works. The franchise might be heading towards a more diverse route as well.

ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee told a small group of reporters on Monday at the Television Critics Association Winter 2011 session that he expects the franchise to continue to surprise viewers with their choices for love seekers.

“What Mike [Fleiss, ‘The Bachelor’s’ executive producer] does, I think rather brilliantly, is he looks for a new storyline and not even the same rhythm of story. I mean they reach their climaxes, some of them don’t even reach a climax — the guy walks away. So, I think you’re going to see us continue to shake up the way that happens,” he said.

When asked by Access Hollywood if that could mean a “Bachelor” of color, Lee said, “I would hope so, yes.”

Lee also defended ABC’s choice of Womack as the current “Bachelor,” a man who since he dumped DeAndra Pappas and Jenni Croft on national television during 2007’s Season 11, was slammed in the media and on message boards for his inability to commit.

“Well, here’s the interesting thing about ‘The Bachelor’… I don’t want to give anything away, but a redemption story can sometimes be a wonderful thing,” he said. “So here, we start with a slap. Follow it, because I’m hoping we’re going to end up a lot more exhilarating than that and I think our audience is gonna love that.”

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