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'The Golden Bachelorette' Will Officially Debut This Fall. Who Will It Be?

The new September ‘Bachelor’ spin-off will star a woman over 60 looking for love

spinner image The women of "The Golden Bachelor."
ABC/Craig Sjodin

The Golden Bachelor, which concluded triumphantly in January, when Gerry Turner, 72, and Theresa Nist, 70, were married by bubbly wedding officiant Susan Noles, 66 (who had unsuccessfuly vied for Gerry’s hand on the show, but had no hard feelings), now has a spin-off series coming up in September: The Golden Bachelorette.

It's likely that the Golden Bachelorette will be one of the women who dated Gerry on The Golden Bachelor. "We have a true wealth of options here with the women from this season," said the show's executive producer Jason Ehrlich, who told AARP they've had no problem finding men willing to compete for the Golden Bachelorette's hand — whoever she may turn out to be.

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The Golden Bachelor Wedding was watched by 5.2 million people on Jan. 4, according to Nielsen, and delayed viewing through Hulu and other digital platforms boosted it to 7.13 million. "Don't stop believing!" said an exultant Gerry, and grownups everywhere rejoiced to see proof that people their age can find romance — and give new blood to the reality-show franchise.

The producers, whose bet on older lovers (and viewers) paid off with the season’s big hit, believe they may have another smash with their new real-life love story featuring grownups over 60. The winning Bachelorette will be picking from 22 men. The Bachelor Nation team has been hunting for contestants for The Golden Bachelorette (and The Golden Bachelor) since at least mid-January, according to casting producer Rachel Reilly’s Instagram. The casting form online lets you nominate somebody you know to be on the shows, but those who apply must answer some deeply personal questions about their past relationships, tattoos, net worth, political views, religion, bankruptcies and (of course!) social media presence. ​

The 21-year-old Bachelor franchise has found renewed success developing spin-off shows. The Bachelorette (for younger contestants than The Golden Bachelorette) debuted in 2003, a year after The Bachelor found a strong audience, and throughout its 20 seasons, The Bachelorette has often featured contestants who were eliminated on The BachelorBachelor in Paradise started in 2014, featuring eliminated contestants of both aforementioned series; they get another chance at love, this time at a tropical destination.

The Golden Bachelor premiere episode reached 13.9 million viewers in 35 days through both live broadcast and streaming, according to Nielsen data, and its debut saw “the largest multi-platform audience for any series” in the franchise in more than three years. 

With ratings that good, fans and experts alike are utterly unsurprised by the Golden Bachelorette announcement.

When AARP teamed up with Katie Couric Media and asked readers to vote on who they thought could become the Golden Bachelorette, former Golden Bachelor contestants Ellen Goltzer, 71, followed by Joan Vassos, 60, and Faith Martin, 60, led the pack of fan favorites.

Commenters on AARP’s Facebook posts about The Golden Bachelor also chimed in.

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One commenter said the show should pick new people to participate and should not recycle the contestants: “Both shows keep bringing back people that have had their pick of a crowd, but they didn’t find one! Bring in NEW people!”

Another comment suggested that “it should be the runner up, if there is such a thing. It should be between the last two women who don’t get a rose. Not anyone else. They fought to be here till the end and that’s the right thing to do.”

Even former Golden Bachelor contestants weighed in on the possibility of an offshoot. Sandra Mason, 75, who was booted during week five of the show, told AARP, “I think the market is ready for it. And hungry for it, even. I think they’ve whet everyone’s appetite for this kind of reality.”

As fans of the show anticipate the premiere of The Golden Bachelorette, one can only wonder: Will it be successful enough to warrant a Golden Bachelor in Paradise

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