“I think, if anything, the show is going to miss him. I think they do. I think ratings, I mean, those don’t lie. They’re kind of already showing that,” the pilot, 29, told Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday, June 30. “It’s sad for all parties involved, to have it end the way it did with him having been such a prominent role in that franchise, and really, I think, being the biggest reason why it grew to be as big as it has become.”
Harrison, 49, announced last month that his leave of absence from the Bachelor franchise would be permanent. He’d been a fixture on the show (and its various spinoffs) since its 2002 premiere.
“Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of The Bachelor franchise. We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey,” Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment told Us Weekly in a statement on June 8.
The Texas native first stepped away from the franchise in February. The decision was made after he came under fire for defending Bachelor season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after racially insensitive photos from her past resurfaced.
Soon after, it was announced that former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe would fill in for the television personality as hosts for Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette, which is currently airing.
“I think they’re doing a great job. No one’s ever going to replace Chris Harrison, that’s obvious. You kind of can’t when he’s been so cemented in that role,” Weber told ET. “But yeah, I think what it does offer is a cool, unique twist. It’s different, obviously. The whole ‘women supporting women’ type thing going on there is great. Obviously, they’re going to be able to offer a perspective that Chris couldn’t offer a female lead, the Bachelorette. So there are unique takes for sure. It can spice it up a little bit. There are benefits there, and I think they’re doing a great job.”
“I’ve always thought that Nick would be a great host for the show. I just do. I mean, I think he’s got maybe some type of Chris-type wittiness. He’s just such a smart dude … I’ve thought that for years, actually … even before anything happened with Chris,” he said. “I think Ben would be a really good host for the show [as well], a huge fan favorite.”Listen to Here For the Right Reasons to get inside scoop about the Bachelor franchise and exclusive interviews from contestants
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