Mike Fleiss: “We Had a Couple Bad Bachelors” (Including One Who Was “Drunk Off His A**”)
Just a couple bad Bachelors?
Bachelor/ette creator Mike Fleiss was one of the high-profile reality TV producers and executives at Thursday’s Hollywood Radio & Television Society lunch, along with Kris Jenner (Keeping Up with the Kardashians), Conrad Green (Dancing With the Stars), Eli Holzman (Undercover Boss), and Bertam van Munster (The Amazing Race). The panel was moderated by DWTS host Tom Bergeron.
According to The Wrap, Fleiss was screened from media attending the event and reporters were warned not to approach him — presumably so he could avoid more questions about the racial discrimination lawsuit that was filed against the show.
The panel of reality TV gurus defended the genre, although they didn’t defend everything that gets on air. The Bachelor creator was reportedly "vocal in criticizing the inverse relationship between the maturity level of the viewing audience and shift in programming since the days of his own early high profile spectacle, Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?”
“It used to be the most innovative stuff (got on) TV," Fleiss said. "Now it’s the most bland and derivative. The audience isn’t rejecting it, but it has settled in to a level that is different than when there was explosive energy and curiosity because it was something they hadn’t seen before. Now it seems relatively calm."
Here's the really interesting part: “We had a couple bad bachelors," Fleiss admitted of his own show. "[Season 7 Bachelor Charlie O’Connell] was drunk off his ass. He’s sober now. He’s got four years of sobriety. We got a little complacent, a little lazy. It started to sag. The audience picks up on that. They’re smarter than we give them credit for."
Thanks for that last part, but isn't everyone on The Bachelor and Bachelorette drunk — because of all the free booze the show provides? Charlie has been open about his problems with alcohol and he has a new movie coming out called Huff that looks pretty good. He's good people.