It’s Official: Sean Lowe Is the New Bachelor

Sean Lowe knows the time is right for him to make the ultimate commitment to the right woman and to start his own family, as he stars in the next edition of ABC's hit romance reality series, "The Bachelor," when it returns to ABC for its 17th season in January 2013.  ABC/KEVIN FOLEY

Sean Lowe is getting a second chance at happily ever after!

After making it to the final three during The Bachelorette in season 8, Emily Maynard's former suitor will now court 25 lucky ladies when season 17 of The Bachelor premieres in January 2013 on ABC, Us Weekly has learned.

Lowe takes over the reigns from California winemaker Ben Flajnik, 29, who proposed to model Courtney Robertson, 29, in the March 12 season 16 finale.

During a conference call with Lowe in July, the Dallas-based insurance salesman admitted he wasn't sure if he was ready to find love on reality TV. "It would be a difficult decision if they were to ask me. Only because it was so emotionally taxing, and you know, I don't know if I could go through that again."

"But on the flip side of the coin, I understand that the process works — I believe in the process," Lowe, 28, added. "And ultimately if I were to find my wife, it would certainly all be worth it."

Said Lowe, "I don't want to sound like I'm selling myself, but I think that people have come to understand that I'm genuine, I'm loving and ultimately I want to find love."

Bachelor host Chris Harrison, 41, confirmed Lowe's hiring to Us at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in L.A. September 23. (Lowe's first rose ceremony was shot the following day!)

As Lowe, told Us in August, he has high expectations for a potential mate: "They have to be intelligent, funny, witty…I like sweet girls."

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