Summer TV preview: Will Emily Maynard bring ‘The Bachelorette’ back to form?

Emily is back in the spotlight.

For the second edition of our summer TV preview series, we are going to be looking at a show, premiering Monday, that has developed a reputation as one of the most-popular shows for much of the year — “The Bachelorette.” Emily Maynard’s season has certainly been hyped up more than the past few editions, but there is still one major question worth asking — will it work in bringing back some viewers to the franchise?

The pros

To begin with, “The Bachelorette” is consistently one of the most-popular shows on TV with women — so without even talking about this season, you have to chalk this up as a likely win. Add the premise of Emily, and there is potential here for a slam dunk — she is a popular woman from the show’s past, and her being a single mom will bring a new level of class for a show that featured a guy last year who got so drunk during the first cocktail party he had to be sent away in a limo.

There are also some other interesting changes here that could add a fresh coat of paint to the show — the setting for the first few episodes will be North Carolina, and there will also be fewer kisses and a more conservative vibe. Does this mean that the kisses that do happen will really mean something more than they did for Ben Flajnik? Let’s hope so.

The cons

First things first, you have to look at this from a drama perspective. “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” sell tabloids like nobody’s business, and it sustains its ratings based largely on some of the drama both onscreen and off. With this in mind, the show relies on something interesting happen over the course of its season.

While we don’t need a new Bentley Williams, there does need to be something that gets people talking — and we don’t know yet whether or not this cast will bring it. In addition, you just have to remember that this franchise is inevitably running out of steam after pretty much a decade on the air. It also is up against “America’s Got Talent” — arguably the top show of all summer TV.

The verdict

Ultimately, the best seasons of this show are the ones where you have some pretty dramatic moments along with a winner that everyone likes. This is why Ashley Hebert’s season ultimately turned out to be pretty good, and why Ben failed to win over very many fans win he chose Courtney Robertson.

We do expect this to be a big player still with women, but it’s too close to call when it comes to being the show that actually manages to increase the overall audience after several seasons of decline.

Photo: ABC

 

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