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Ex-Bachelor host Chris Harrison to make TV return with new dating show after controversy

Ex-Bachelor host Chris Harrison to make TV return with new dating show after controversy

The Bachelor’s former host Chris Harrison is set to make his big return to television with a new reality dating series. He has also signed on to co-host a morning show and contribute to Dr Phil Primetime.

Harrison exited the popular Bachelor franchise in 2021 after he made controversial remarks in an Extra interview. During the interview with the first Black Bachelorette star, Rachel Lindsay, Harrison sought to defend Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell against allegations of racist and offensive behaviour by saying that he was not the “woke police”.

He later apologised for “wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism”. “By excusing historical racism, I defended it,” he said. Harrison was replaced by former 2004 Bachelor alum Jesse Palmer after nearly 20 years with the franchise.

As part of an overall deal inked with Dr Phil McGraw’s new broadcast network Merit Street Media – which will launch on 2 April – Harrison will make his return to TV to host a dating show and morning show and will contribute to the company’s mainstay show, Dr Phil Primetime.

Not many details about the untitled dating show have been revealed yet. However, according to Variety, Dr Phil has promised that it will be “so novel, so different”.

“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,” he said.

Meanwhile, the morning chat show is expected to debut sometime in the fall or winter. Harrison will co-host the show with his wife, former Entertainment Tonight host Lauren Zima. It will be filmed at Merit Street Media’s studios in Dallas, Texas, where the couple live.

Chris Harrison (Getty Images)
Chris Harrison (Getty Images)

“Our relationship is a big part of the morning show,” Zima said to ET. “The morning show we’re pulling together is gonna be a place for us to play, to have fun. What matters the most to both of us has always been our audience, so we want to be able to connect with them. What’s more relatable than talking about our relationship and what’s going on in our own lives?”

“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 added.

Harrison has already been contributing to Dr Phil Primetime, where he’s done “some very penetrating field work having to do with some of these romance scams, these catfish type things”.

“He’s so good on camera,” Dr Phil told ET. “When he walked out for the first time, the audience went insane.”