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Jesse Palmer is returning to The Bachelor as host of Season 26

  • The former NFL quarterback who starred on Season 5 of The Bachelor in 2004 is returning to the franchise as longtime host Chris Harrison's successor -- at least for next season. Since The Bachelor, Palmer has had a longstanding relationship with The Walt Disney Company, working as a college sports commentator on ESPN, NFL Draft analyst on ABC, a special contributor to Good Morning America, host of ABC's 2018 reality show The Proposal and as current host of ABC's The Ultimate Surfer. "As of now, Palmer is officially signed on for Season 26 of The Bachelor, which will air in 2022," reports Variety's Elizabeth Wagmeister. "However, insiders explain that the idea is for Palmer to continue with the franchise in the future, both on the flagship Bachelor and The Bachelorette, but nothing is set in stone — and the network has not renewed either series beyond their next upcoming seasons. Sources say that hosting format for future seasons of Bachelor In Paradise, which used to be led by Harrison, is still in flux" after this year's celebrity guest-host rotation. Wagmeister adds that Palmer as host "creates synergy" between ESPN and The Bachelor that could result in more college football viewers tuning in. The next season of The Bachelor will star Clayton Echard, who will make his debut as part of Michelle Young's Bachelorette season next month. “For more than 20 years, The Bachelor has brought the world dozens of unforgettable love stories, including at one time, my own,” Palmer said in a statement. “Falling in love is one of life’s greatest gifts, and I am humbled by the opportunity to return to the show as host this season to offer the newest Bachelor advice gained from firsthand experience and I am grateful to play a small part in his journey.”

    TOPICS: Jesse Palmer, ABC, The Bachelor, Chris Harrison, Clayton Echard, Reality TV