IOWA CAUCUS 2020

Are the caucuses going to ruin 'The Bachelor' for Iowa fans?

KCRG-TV tweaks coverage plans after ABC announced special 3-hour episode

Peter Weber from the ABC television series #x201c;The Bachelor#x201d; poses Jan. 8 at the 2020 ABC Television Critics As
Peter Weber from the ABC television series “The Bachelor” poses Jan. 8 at the 2020 ABC Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. (Chris Pizzello/Associated Press)

Two unbelievable journeys like you’ve never seen before will collide at 7 p.m. Monday as they compete for TV airtime.

That’s when Iowans will gather at caucus sites throughout the state and beyond to decide which candidates they want as the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees.

Starting at the same time, “Bachelor” Peter Weber will be making similarly life-changing choices on ABC.

The network is hyping a special three-hour episode of “The Bachelor” that likely will overlap coverage of the caucuses.

So will any Iowa fans even get to see it?

In Eastern Iowa, the local ABC affiliate, KCRG-TV, hopes so.

News Director Adam Carros said he considered the wrath of “Bachelor” fans when mapping out the station’s coverage plan. While there will be some interruptions to the show, the episode won’t be completely canceled by caucus updates.

“We knew there would be backlash if we covered up Bachelor,” he said. “This way we can still have extended caucus coverage on 9.2 and people who don’t care or are more interested can still see ‘The Bachelor.’”

The Cedar Rapids station was going to air extended live coverage on its main channel but bent when the extended “Bachelor” episode was announced.

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“You’re not kidding on the vocal nature of ‘Bachelor’ fans when the show gets interrupted,” Carros said in an email.

Past cut-ins for breaking news and weather emergencies seldom have gone unnoticed by viewers waiting to see who accepts a rose every week — their ticket to stay on the show.

Some 7.6 million Americans tuned into last week’s episode, which saw Weber take Iowa native and noted Champagne consumer Kelsey Weier on a coveted one-on-date date through Cleveland.

In Monday’s episode, Weber and the remaining bachelorettes travel to Costa Rica and — in what’s sure to be the most dramatic reveal ever — the bachelor will share how he ended up with a 22-inch scar on his forehead, according to an ABC news release.

This isn’t the first time the televised popularity contests have shared airtime. On July 30, Hannah Brown’s season finale of “The Bachelorette” had 7.4 million viewers, while CNN’s Democratic debate got 8.7 million.

Carros, who only has so much control over local airwaves, said he doesn’t know when national ABC News might interrupt Monday’s episode.

“But our plans will be dictated by when results come in with an eye to what’s happening on the show,” he said. “In other words, we will try at all costs not to cover up a rose ceremony!”

Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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