Why not someone from a more recent season? What's the goal with a throwback contestant as the Bachelor?
It wasn't by design. It was simply, Arie is in the right place in his life to find somebody. He really has a life to go back to. He wants kids. He wants what Emily has. He's in that place. We talked to people, we talked about people from Rachel's season, from JoJo's season. I don't think there was anyone who was as ready for this as Arie is.
As with any Bachelor announcement, there's been some backlash on Twitter. Are you seeing more than usual? How do you respond to it?
What we are seeing is more passion for this announcement than ever. I've seen a ton of "I haven't been this excited in forever," "This feels like a real throwback Bachelor," "This is a real man," and then a lot for "I'll never watch the show again," "How can you do this to us?" and they're both great reactions, to be honest. Certainly, I'd imagine whether you love or hate this decision, if you care enough to weigh in, you're going to at least watch the beginning, and that's all we can ask, and it's on us to make a great season that keeps you there, and hopefully by word of mouth it brings new people in. I've worked on seasons, we're talking over 10 years ago, where nobody cared, and apathy is the worst thing for any TV show, but certainly for this one. I'm glad that people care. I think the great thing with Arie is he has a great sense of humor... If you hate Arie, you say, "He's a lesser version of Peter," or "Oh my god, he's old. I don't remember him. He's got gray hair!" He's going to take that in stride. He gets it. He's in on the joke, so I think that's going to serve him well as the Bachelor.