Creator Mike Fleiss shocked fans on Thursday when he tweeted that one of The Bachelor's executive producers was no longer part of the franchise. "Can’t comment on why @theyearofelan is no longer part of #TheBachelor team, but we wish him the best in all his future endeavors," Fleiss unexpectedly wrote on Thursday morning, without giving context.
Bachelor Nation quickly took to the comments to react to the bombshell, and a source tells ET that the tweet also came as a surprise to the production team -- but that the move seemed to be brewing for a while.
"Although he's the creator of The Bachelor and has consistently shared show news how and when he wants to with fans, production and PR teams didn't see it coming," ET's source says. "Especially on a day when the show was making the big announcement of Colton [Underwood's] women."
Can’t comment on why @theyearofelan is no longer part of #TheBachelor team, but we wish him the best in all his future endeavors...
"The parting of ways, though, isn't as unexpected to those behind the scenes as it might seem. Elan had been working on other projects over the past few years and considering an exit," the source continues, adding that there had been some growing tension over where Gale's focus and energy lie.
ET has reached out to ABC, Warner Bros. and Gale for comment.
Gale had been with the franchise for 10 years and became close friends with many Bachelor and Bachelorette alums during that time. However, his other ambitions took shape last year, when he released his book, You're Not That Great (But Neither Is Anyone Else).
"Before I was with the show, I always wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t really have anything to write about. These last 10 years have been wonderful because I’ve traveled a lot, experienced a good amount, had my heart broken and done the things people need to do to have insight," he told ET last August. "I’ve criticized myself a tremendous amount, but I still don’t believe someone is publishing a book I’m writing. I truly think that’s crazy. … And, it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done. It scared me to death because it’s the first thing I’ve done that you do alone."
"On TV shows and movies, there’s a big team of people ... The first draft of writing a book is something you do all by yourself. It’s totally terrifying to talk about yourself, and I’m always telling other people to do it! I talk about my sobriety, my mother’s cancer treatment and I’m really open and honest about the worst parts about myself," he continued. "I hope people can look at this book and say, 'This changed my perspective about something.' Even if you don’t agree with it."
It's full steam ahead for Underwood's season of The Bachelor, however. See what he told ET about what to expect in the video below.