One of ABC's Most Popular Shows Just Lost Its Creator After Over 20 Years

It is officially the end of an era for one of ABC's longest-running shows. On Tuesday, it was revealed that The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss will be exiting the franchise after twenty-one years. Claire Freeland, Jason Ehrlich, and longtime executive producer Bennett Graebner will be stepping in as the franchise's executive producers and showrunners. While Fleiss has reportedly not been involved with the day-to-day operations of the franchise in nearly a decade, he is regarded to be the creative force behind The Bachelor, as well as an executive producer on its spinoffs The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, and Bachelor: Winter Games.

This comes one day after the season finale of The Bachelor Season 27, which ended with the engagement between Zach Shalcross and Kaity Biggar.

"First and foremost, congratulations are in order for Zach and Kaity," Fleiss said in a statement. "I wish them a long and happy life together. I want to thank WBTV and ABC for 21 extraordinary years. They've found the perfect creative team for me to entrust The Bachelor franchise and keep this lightning in a bottle bold and moving forward. Let the journey continue."

What is the next season of The Bachelorette?

The next season of The Bachelorette is set to launch later this summer, with Charity Lawson, a contestant from Shalcross' season, stepping into the titular role. Lawson will be the fourth woman of color to step into the series' unique dating realm.

"When I was told that I was going to be the next Bachelorette, that was one of the first things that I immediately thought of," Lawson explained in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight. "To step into this role as the fourth woman of color and the second monoracial African American Bachelorette, it's huge."

"I recognize that, although it is my journey, it's so much bigger than me, because I'm carrying along a whole community of people who are looking up [to me] and [I'm] representing that as well," Lawson added. "[I'm] definitely not taking it for granted. I'm really excited and I'm very fortunate to be the fourth."

What do you think of Mike Fleiss leaving The Bachelor franchise? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

The Bachelorette will return on June 26th on ABC.