Why ‘Bachelor’ Producer Mike Fleiss Compared ‘Bachelorette’ Fans to Donald Trump

The Bachelor and The Bachelorette franchise have been successful enough to reach more than 10 seasons each. But now that the franchise is trying to keep up with the times and change, it has been affected by ratings.

It’s obvious that producers are trying to switch things up to regain viewers. That includes making an unexpected choice as The Bachelor and coming up with a new spinoff special. Will it actually work? We already have an idea of that answer and now, producers are starting to talk about why the show might not be resonating with fans like it used to.

Here are seven things to know about the declining ratings of The Bachelor franchise — including why producer Mike Fleiss recently compared fans to Donald Trump.

1. Season 22 of The Bachelor has seen low ratings

Arie holding up a bouquet of photos of the women in the show.

Fans of the show haven’t been tuning in. | The Bachelor via Instagram

There was a noticeable decline in ratings during Season 13 of The Bachelorette. This might explain why the show decided to essentially hit a reset button after that season. They went with the unexpected choice of Arie Luyendyk Jr. rather than a man from Rachel Lindsay’s season. Fans haven’t necessarily come back in droves to the show.

The premiere of Season 22 had 5.5 million viewers, which is a drop from 2017 and made it one of the lowest premieres of all time for the reality show, according to TV Line. It continued to decline for the second episode, which matched the viewers of a rerun of The Big Bang Theory.

There is another effort being made to bring fans of the franchise together, and that’s the spin-off, The Bachelor Winter Games. This four-episode special features members of The Bachelor franchise from all over the world coming together to compete.

Next: The cast of the new show has been announced, and it includes some familiar faces.

2. The Bachelor Winter Games cast includes some fan favorites

Ben Higgins waves to the crowd during a parade.

Ben Higgins is a fan-favorite. |  Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S.A. men’s team is stacked with Ben Higgins, Dean Unglert, Eric Bigger, Jamey Kocan, Josiah Graham, Luke Pell, and Michael Garofola.

The women’s team includes Ashley Iaconetti, Clare Crawley, and Lesley Murphy. But fans couldn’t help but notice that one fan favorite is missing.

Next: The announced cast is missing one person previously confirmed for the show.

3. Mike Fleiss previously announced Peter Kraus would be on Winter Games

Mike Fleiss tweet.

Was this announcement incorrect? | Mike Fleiss via Twitter

Back in October, producer Mike Fleiss tweeted “Yes, Peter will be looking for love— and going for the gold– on #TheBachelor Winter Games!!!!”

But now it seems like this announcement came too soon, since he won’t be on the spin-pff after all.

Next: This is what Peter Kraus had to say about not being on the show.

4. Peter Kraus claimed he wasn’t chosen to go on the show

Peter Kraus sits at a table during a date.

Peter Kraus wasn’t chosen in the end. | ABC

So what really happened? “They didn’t choose me to be on Winter Games,” Peter Kraus told ET. He said Fleiss “has said a lot of things through his Twitter over time that are maybe pushing a little bit or misleading in certain ways.”

This is after fans were also disappointed that Kraus wasn’t their next Bachelor star after Lindsay’s season, which dipped in ratings.

Next: This is why Mike Fleiss compared fans to Trump.

5. Fleiss says the ratings drop during Rachel Lindsay’s season is ‘Trumpish’

TV personality Rachel Lindsay poses backstage for the Badgley Mischka fashion show.

Producer Mike Fleiss had an interesting way of rationalizing the ratings dip. | Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Given the franchise has been such a strong performer all these years, people couldn’t help but question if the season starring a black woman had anything to do with the decline. If you ask Fleiss, he would say yes.

“I found it incredibly disturbing in a Trumpish kind of way,” he said, according to the New York Times. “How else are you going to explain the fact that she’s down in the ratings, when — black or white — she was an unbelievable bachelorette? It revealed something about our fans.”

Next: He explains what this means for the future of the franchise.

6. Fleiss is open to casting another non-white star

Mike Fleiss sits in a chair on stage during a panel interview.

Mike Fleiss | Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Just because there was a dip in ratings doesn’t mean the franchise will be turning back from its baby steps toward featuring a more diverse cast. “I’m raring to try it again. I think it’s important,” Fleiss told the New York Times.

Next: Will Rachel Lindsay make a return anyway?

7. Rachel Lindsay will return to Winter Games

Rachel Lindsay waves and smiles while wearing a yellow dress.

Rachel Lindsay | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Although some fans turned their back on the franchise during her season, the show is sticking by Lindsay’s side. She will be making a guest appearance on the spin-off show.

Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice.

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