ABC has named its inaugural golden years-era Bachelor.
Gerry Turner, a 71-year-old from Indiana, will lead the senior reality dating series The Golden Bachelor, which is a spinoff of ABC’s long-running hit franchise The Bachelor (and The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise).
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The format will be similar to the flagship dating show except this time, Turner will be looking for love among a group of eligible women 65 years and older. “It’s never too late to fall in love … again,” reads the show’s tagline.
A retired restaurateur, Turner lives on a lake in Indiana. After a 43-year marriage to his high school sweetheart, his wife, Toni, suddenly fell ill and died six years ago in 2017. He is the father to two daughters and grandfather to two granddaughters. ABC describes him as a “charming 71-year-old patriarch.”
The Golden Bachelor idea has been long-gestating, with the network first releasing a casting call for senior citizens looking for love in early 2020. The spinoff series was then delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, when it airs Mondays at 10 p.m., it will be among ABC’s strike-proof, all-unscripted fall schedule, making its debut after Dancing With the Stars. (A premiere date has yet to be announced.)
The 20th season of The Bachelorette is currently airing, with the ninth season of Bachelor in Paradise also expected in the fall. The Bachelor has also been renewed for its forthcoming 27th season.
When asked about the golden-years spinoff earlier this year, Walt Disney Television executive vp unscripted and alternative Rob Mills told The Hollywood Reporter the holdup was over finding the right lead. “It’s the one I get asked about the most, which means people really love this idea,” he said. “For us, the most important thing is that we get the exact right person, whether it’s a Bachelor or Bachelorette, and it’s somebody that everyone wants to see us tell their story and that everyone gets invested in seeing them find love. So we’re still casting, we’re looking — but once we find that perfect person, absolutely it’s one we’re going to do.”
The official description for The Golden Bachelor reads: “After more than 20 years of fostering young love on The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, The Golden Bachelor showcases a whole new kind of love story — one for the golden years. On this all-new unscripted series, one hopeless romantic is given a second chance at love in the search for a partner with whom to share the sunset years of life. The women arriving at the mansion have a lifetime of experience, living through love, loss and laughter, hoping for a spark that ignites a future full of endless possibilities. In the end, will our Golden man turn the page to start a new chapter with the woman of his dreams?”
The Golden Bachelor is produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon. Watch Tuner make his debut on Good Morning America below.
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