ABC Extends 'The Bachelor' With Spin-Off Series on Cable's Freeform

Sibling Network Will Chronicle Engagement of Most Recent Bachelor

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Lauren Bushnell and Ben Higgins, who agreed to marry in the finale of last season's 'Bachelor,' are getting a new series on ABC sibling Freeform.
Lauren Bushnell and Ben Higgins, who agreed to marry in the finale of last season's 'Bachelor,' are getting a new series on ABC sibling Freeform. Credit: ABC/Rick Rowell

ABC's "The Bachelor" is sharing the love. The reality dating franchise is getting another spin-off, but this one won't live on ABC.

Instead ABC sibling Freeform, formerly known as ABC Family, will carry a new reality series this fall following the engagement of the most recent Bachelor, Ben Higgins, to Lauren Bushnell. ABC and Freeform are both owned by Walt Disney Co.

The recently re-branded channel will look to capitalize on the steady ratings for "The Bachelor" and the loyal audiences that regularly post to Twitter as they watch. The series generated more tweets than any other broadcast show during the first quarter, 2.7 million, for 469.3 million impressions, according to Freeform.

While the series hit a five-year high among 12-to-17-year-old viewers, according to Freeform, it is still predominantly watched by older women. ABC would surely like to see some of Freeform's younger-skewing audience get roped into the franchise.

"Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After" will follow the couple as they prepare for their wedding and explore their relationship in the real world post-"Bachelor," where Mr. Higgins will be seen exploring a career in politics.

Other former "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" contestants are expected to make appearances.

The series is slated to debut in October, during the gap between the finale of "The Bachelorette" and the premiere of the 21st season of "The Bachelor."

"The Bachelor" has already spawned spin-offs for ABC. "Bachelor Pad" ran three seasons. Last season's "Bachelor" was often followed by an after-show called "Bachelor Live." And "Bachelor in Paradise" will return on ABC this summer.