ABC orders "Bachelor" all-stars spin-off

Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:20pm EST
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By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - ABC has ordered a spin-off of its hit "Bachelor" franchise in which former contestants will live together in a "Big Brother"-style house.

Titled "Bachelor Pad," the series will bring back 20 memorable contestants from the previous 13 cycles of "The Bachelor" and five editions of "The Bachelorette." The program will represent the first "all-stars" reunion series for the franchise.

Executive producer Martin Hilton said the concept was inspired by the real-life relationships that have continued among former "Bachelor" casts.

"All these people have been friends, been enemies, they date each other and bring all this great back-story to the show," Hilton said. "It seemed like there was an opportunity to combine that world with a new competitive reality show."

Contestants will live together in a house and compete in challenges, with some competitions inspired by incidents from past seasons. Each episode will conclude with evictions from the residence.

ABC has ordered seven episodes, with "Bachelor" host Chris Harrison on board to emcee. Although scheduling plans are not set, expect ABC to premiere the show in the late summer coming out of the "Bachelorette" finale. It's not clear whether the show will air opposite CBS' venerable "Big Brother" franchise, which performs solidly across multiple nights each summer.

With "Bachelor" debuting Monday and "Bachelorette" typically launching at the start of summer, the addition of "Bachelor Pad" gives ABC a version of the franchise on the air year-around except for the fall.

Names of the cast have not yet been released, but Hilton said that top players, including former winners, are on board.

Last week, "Bachelor" returned and proved it's still going strong, climbing slightly in the ratings for its 14th edition.