Get your first impression roses ready, because The Bachelorette officially has a premiere date. The 16th season of the ABC dating show kicks off Tuesday, Oct. 13, moving from its usual Monday spot to allow for Dancing With the Stars to air in its usual slot after COVID-19 postponed The Bachelorette's initial filming schedule.
The Bachelor Nation show, which stars Clare Crawley as its leading lady this season, announced the big premiere news Thursday, teasing the drama to come with a The Graduate-inspired poster. "It's about time," the show tweeted alongside the poster in reference to the months-long filming delay.
This promises to be one of the most dramatic seasons ever, as reports surfaced just weeks into filming that Crawley had developed a strong relationship with one of her suitors, Dale Moss, and the two had gotten engaged after communicating on social media during the production shutdown. Soon after, news broke that Tayshia Adams had been chosen as the second Bachelorette for the season, and would be filming the rest of the show in Crawley's stead.
ABC has yet to confirm the casting change, but an insider told PEOPLE at the beginning of August, "One of [Crawley's] potential guys found a way to get in touch with her and they began talking. By the time filming officially began, they were basically already in love. No one else stood a chance. It just became so obvious from her subsequent few dates that her heart wasn’t in it and she just wasn’t feeling it. Then she said she wanted out."
Former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, who was the show's first Black lead, told Entertainment Tonight earlier this month that she was "thrilled" to learn ABC had cast another Black Bachelorette. "When I stepped in as Bachelorette, I wanted to pave a way for more diversity, for more people who look like me and who didn’t look like the typical lead," Lindsay told the outlet. "So to see another Bachelorette of color, I’m thrilled."
She added that while "fighting for inclusion," she had previously thrown out Adams' name as "an excellent Bachelorette," making her "more than happy to pass the torch" on to The Bachelor alum, who first appeared on Colton Underwood's season. Lindsay concluded, "I am so excited to see what she’s going to do, how she will represent herself and her journey to find love. Now she’s in the driver’s seat, and I’m excited to see her get this opportunity."