How The Bachelor Is Like The NFL, According To An ABC Exec

The Bachelor Peter Weber ABC
(Image credit: Maarten de Boer / ABC)

The Bachelor franchise calls a lot of things to mind and for one ABC exec that includes the NFL. After so many seasons finding love and breakups, Bachelor Nation is still going strong nearly twenty years since it began in 2002. In that time, many series have tried and failed to find The Bachelor and its spinoffs’ success.

Rob Mills is ABC’s top alternative executive, and he feels that The Bachelor and the National Football League share something in common. Mills’ feeling is that The Bachelor is essentially in a league of its own due to its compelling stories, some so powerful they are being revisited via the franchise’s latest spinoff. Making the comparison between The Bachelor and the NFL, Mills told Variety:

I hate to compare it to the NFL, but The Bachelor is like its own sports league. It’s hard to compete with it because it’s so much more than a show these days. It’s a force. There is always room for good stories, and everybody needs to fall in love, so we welcome more good shows. What really would please me is if they all had the quality control that The Bachelor has.

CBS made an attempt to cover The Bachelor’s territory with the UK import Love Island. The series was no match for The Bachelor (or Big Brother, for that matter) in the ratings. A Warner Bros. executive later said that he did not think Love Island could co-exist with The Bachelor. Enter the NFL.

The ABC executive clearly welcomes competition for The Bachelor, and he hopes some “quality control” is utilized when they come up. So far, there has been no network show capable of taking The Bachelor’s crown. The mothership series has resulted in twenty-four seasons to date as the world awaits the delayed sixteenth season of The Bachelorette.

In the meantime, some fans followed along with The Bachelor: Listen To Your Heart, which is yet another spinoff in the ever-expanding franchise. While viewers desiring reality show romance have not been without offerings from The Bachelor, other networks have vied for The Bachelor’s spot in the genre. TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé is one of the success stories out there.

Throughout it all, the ABC series has remained in a prime spot, like the NFL in terms of football. The Bachelor is the series primarily credited with starting the reality romance craze, so it is the one to beat. Newcomers are taking on an established franchise that has nearly twenty years of content already in the can.

Of course, The Bachelor has nothing on the NFL in terms of longevity. It was founded almost 100 years ago in 1920. The league will have its 100th anniversary on August 20 of this year. So, Bachelor Nation is in no way close to touching the NFL’s longevity. Time will tell if another franchise can compete with The Bachelor. For now, it is on top.

While you wait for The Bachelor franchise to eventually return, this summer’s premieres will provide something to look forward to. You can relive Season 13 on Netflix along with lots of new 2020 content.

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.