More people watched Bachelor reunion than finale; creator says “the staff just freaked out”

On Tuesday, 12.8 million people watched Bachelor 11 Brad defend his decision to dump both women on the reunion special–compared to just 11.6 million who watched the actual dumping on Monday, according to Nielsen ratings reported by The Hollywood Reporter. Monday’s finale was “up 8 percent over last fall” among people ages 18 to 49, while Tuesday’s reunion was the most-watched show in its hour, Media Life reports.

Meanwhile, the show’s creator and executive producer says that producers didn’t know about Brad’s decision until that day. “Much like Jenni and DeAnna, I was convinced this guy had fallen for one or both of these girls. It was a shock to the whole staff. When we knew how he wanted to play it, it was like a morgue around here. Usually at the finale there’s a happy couple afterwards and they’re all drinking champagne. This time when it happened the staff just freaked out,” Mike Fleiss told Entertainment Weekly.

That outcome is always a possibility, though, he says, and producers were aware that some fans would be upset. “We knew it was going to be controversial and that some people would say, ‘Fuck that. I’m never watching the show again.’ But it’s not supposed to be a guaranteed proposal. It’s about how men and women relate and date. It’s about getting into the mind of a single guy and the mind of a single girl, and we certainly got that. What he did was the thing that women fear the most — he became intimate and then split the next day. The fact that it happened to two girls at once was a unique opportunity.”

Still, Fleiss says Brad is “a great guy. I wish he would have been a little more committed to making those girls happy too. I think that’s what was lost. Those girls really put themselves out there.” He also says that he wanted to end the show with a different conclusion, but ABC wouldn’t allow him to. “The original ending, before the network made me change it, was after the girls were crying we fade down and come back up to a shot of Brad sitting on the couch, remote control in hand, clicking on the game, munching on a submarine sandwich. That’s what I wanted at the end. But the network said no,” he said.

Fox tops Tuesday as ‘House’ beats ‘Dancing’ and ‘Dancing’ delivers for ABC Monday night [Hollywood Reporter]
Big tune-in for ‘Bachelor’ beef session [Media Life]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.