We’re not someone who wants to go into “ratings for The Bachelor are down!” overdrive just yet — especially since so many people are doing that with Matt James’ season already. Some seasons take time to get going. Also, there has been a lot going on in the world over the past few weeks. It’s fair to speculate this has made an impact.
With that being said, it’s also hard to ignore the ratings decline entirely. It’s noticeable. This has been one of the lower-rated seasons on record, and ABC exec Rob Mills even commented on the matter to Variety:
“I actually think you’re going to see ratings rise more exponentially than you would during previous seasons because people are going to start talking about it and word-of-mouth is going to kick in.”
Mills suggested that Matt being a Bachelor Nation unknown is one of the reasons for the drop … but is it the only one? We look towards the short hiatus between Clare Crawley/Tayshia Adams’ season and this one. Bachelor Nation burnout is a real thing among more casual fans, and it was a lot to ask people to come back only a couple of weeks after one season for the start of the next.
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Here is what Matt’s season honestly needs: A true watercooler moment that feels new and refreshing. No, it’s not anything related to Queen Victoria. It’s gotta be something that we haven’t seen on the franchise below and something that could court more newcomers. Maybe we’ll get there; it feels like producers are certainly trying something with the whole idea of throwing more people into the mix next week. It’s going to at least lead to fighting — we know that to be true.
So in the end, we should have the ratings conversation at this point in the season — but to blame it on Matt and Matt alone is just silly. There is so much story left to tell — and by the way, the whole low-ratings narrative is just based on the live numbers. There are people watching in droves after the fact.
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This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.