On April 25, 2002, millions of viewers tuned in to watch ABCs inaugural Bachelor, Alex Michel, choose the dating shows first winner: Amanda Marsh. Michel did not ultimately propose; the two instead opted to get to know one another better outside the glare of the spotlight. And as with most Bachelor-verse couples to come, they broke up mere months after the cameras stopped rolling. Over the years, The Bachelor and its offshoots—The Bachelorette and the boozier, more relaxed Bachelor in Paradise—have enjoyed a success rate that one might call scattered at best; only four couples who met during The Bachelors 23 seasons are still together as of June 2019, while The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise have each forged six lasting pairs.

Over the past few years, though, something curious has happened: The shows number of successful setups seems to be climbing. The Bachelors two most recent seasons have ended with happy couples—although not without some brutal collateral damage. The Bachelorette has matched lasting lovebirds for the past three seasons in a row as well—though again, not without some off-screen controversy along the way. And three of Bachelor in Paradises six success stories came from the spin-offs fifth season last year. (Season six will premiere in August.)

Sure, the recency of these relationships helps—but given how many previous Bachelor-verse couples have crashed and burned within their first year, often within just a couple of months, the increase still seems notable.

So, what gives? One possible explanation for the franchises apparent uptick in success stories could be the increasingly hands-off approach its producers seem to be taking, after developing a reputation for manipulation devious enough to inspire an entire separate TV show about their meddling. Look, for instance, at Colton Underwoods recent Bachelor season—in which Colton not only chose to stay with Cassie even though she did not want to get engaged, but also sent his two other contestants home without knowing whether Cassie wanted to be with him too. (The producers themselves even received a bit of a villain edit, as Colton seemed to realize that their meddling had almost cost him the (potential) love of his life.)

The franchise has been consciously trying to lean into this sort of organic storytelling, according to Brooke Karzen, who helped develop the series and currently oversees it for Warner Horizon Television.

“I dont want to seem overly critical, but the format, at times, was almost more important than the truth of the story that would unfold,” Karzen told V.F. in an interview earlier this year. Over the years, Karzen said, producers have “started showing yoRead More – Source

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Vanity Fair

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