Who snuck sour grapes into Chris Harrison‘s lunchbox? In a new interview, the Bachelor host tears into UnREAL — Lifetime’s fictional behind-the-scenes look at a reality dating show — with some choice words for the drama.
“The main difference that I’ve seen is that people watch The Bachelor,” Harrison tells our sister publication Variety. “It’s complete fiction. As much as they would love to jump on our coattails — they were begging for us to talk about it and for people to write about it — at the end of the day, no one is watching. I mean, absolutely nobody is watching that show. Why? It is terrible. It is really terrible.”
To Harrison’s credit, The Bachelor averaged 8 million viewers last season, and The Bachelorette this season averaged south of 7 million weekly viewers, up 4 percent from its previous cycle. Airing at 10 o’clock, UnREAL draws a tenth of that — averaging 700,000 viewers and peaking at 815K (with its series launch).
That said, the Lifetime drama was co-created by former Bachelor producer Sarah Shapiro, who might know a thing or two about what goes on behind closed doors. As for the show being “terrible,” its critical acclaim and early Season 2 renewal say otherwise.
“You only do that when you are part of the vernacular,” Harrison adds, comparing UnREAL to Bachelor spoofs on Saturday Night Live. “If not, you can’t make a joke. It’s a sign of respect. The way that UnREAL took it, it wasn’t a sign of respect. They were trying to take it another direction, but it doesn’t work that way.”
Time to pick a side, TVLine readers: Are you Team UnREAL or Team Bachelor? Vote below, then drop a comment with your rationale.