Chris Harrison Announces New Dating Show, Shades The Bachelor

Chris Harrison is done trying to save The Bachelor.

He’s now instead about to compete with The Bachelor.

Late on Thursday, the former ABC personality announced that he’ll soon be launching a new (untitled at the moment) dating show on Dr. Phil’s cable network, something called Merit Street Media.

The series is part of an overall contract with the network that will also produce a weekday morning talk show that Harrison will co-host with his wife, Lauren Zima.

Chris Harrison for ABC
Chris Harrison attends ABC Television’s Winter Press Tour 2020 at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 8, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Dr. Phil McGraw explained the upcoming program to Entertainment Tonight as follows:

“It has dating elements in it, but this is so different and so novel. It is flipping the script in a way that I think people are gonna become addicted to it in a week. It is unbelievable.”

For his part, Harrison hurled some shade at his ex-employer.

As you may recall, Harrison parted ways with the network in March 2021 after he made racially-insensitive remarks, defending then-suitor Rachael Kirkconnell for sharing plantation-themed party photos from her college days.

Chris Harrison in 2020
In this screen grab, Chris Harrison participates during Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020 on May 16, 2020. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)

“We all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion,” Harrison said at that time in response to the scandal.

“I have seen some stuff online. Again, this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart…”

“Until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this…”

Harrison was replaced temporally as host for two seasons of The Bachelorette by former leads Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams.

Jesse Palmer now serves as the host of both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

Chris Harrison attends the 49th Daytime Emmy Awards at Pasadena Convention Center on June 24, 2022 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

“People got to know and love me for two decades hosting The Bachelor, so, yes, we are going to be creating a reality dating show,” Harrison said to ET this week.

“For years and years I said, ‘This is the most dramatic show ever.’

“We want to create a show where those words actually ring true, so this dating show will be the most dramatic ever — that you can be sure of.”

And there’s the shade, folks, flat-out stating that The Bachelor was not, actually, the most dramatic show ever.

Chris Harrison Plays Host
Chris Harrison had been the Bachelor host since day one. But no longer! (ABC)

On a podcast last year, Harrison said that he “will forever be grateful” to the Bachelor franchise and that he holds “no animosity” toward the shows’ creative teams.

But he’s clearly excited to move on.

“Call it divine intervention, karma, kismet, whatever it is, the fact that Dr. Phil created this network in my own backyard here in Dallas, it means the world to me to, not only be returning to television, but to be doing it here in a hometown crowd,” Harrison concluded to ET.

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