Chris Harrison remains host of ABC franchise’s latest series
At a time when fresh television has slowed considerably, leave it to “The Bachelor” to offer something new.
Premiering Monday, April 13, ABC’s “The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart” is what franchise staple Chris Harrison — who’s both the host and a producer of the new show — likes to call “ ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ meets ‘A Star Is Born.’ ” Participants are teamed with the goal of their making beautiful music together in more ways than one, since to “win,” they have to succeed with both love and lyrics.
“We really crushed it and forced ourselves to get it in,” the ever-pleasant Harrison says of having “Listen to Your Heart” completed before current world conditions had an impact on everything including TV scheduling. “We’re going to squeeze as much out of it as we can. We may even try to pull more content out of what we already shot, so it’s a bonus for employees who can do a lot of things from home — and also for Bachelor Nation (the franchise’s fan base), which is starving for any new content.”
The inspiration for “Listen to Your Heart,” Harrison explains, was last year’s performance of “Shallow” by “A Star Is Born” stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga at last year’s Oscars. “You thought, ‘That chemistry can’t be faked. That is real.’ And we thought, ‘Could we do this? A ‘Bachelor’ show that’s still about relationships and love, but with a musical twist?’ Though it has a familiar feel, you’re not used to seeing this.”
With the scheduled mid-May debut of “The Bachelorette’s” new season likely to be delayed, since the start of production on it also has been, Harrison thinks “Listen to Your Heart” might serve a purpose of interconnection when social distancing is being advised strongly.
“Whether you love it or hate it, ‘The Bachelor’ is something that brings this country together,” he reasons. “It’s something you want to be a part of, and it’s kind of a phenomenon we need right now. It’s a social event that gives people a way to go out without going out.”