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Ex-Chicago salesman Nick Viall is ABC's next 'Bachelor'

Nick Viall is officially the next "Bachelor" for Season 21 of ABC's reality dating show.

Mike Fleiss, creator of the "Bachelor" franchise, made the announcement Tuesday evening on his personal Twitter account.

"The Bachelor" premiered in 2002 and has become the longest-running reality dating series, spinning off the female-led series "The Bachelorette," plus other spinoffs "Bachelor Pad" and "Bachelor in Paradise," which is currently airing this summer. Collectively, "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" have run for 32 seasons.

"The Bachelor" stars are typically selected from the franchise's pool of contestants from previous seasons. ABC has been largely criticized for "The Bachelor" and "Bachelorette's" lack of diversity, as only one non-white lead has been featured in the totality of the franchise, with the Latino Juan Pablo Galavis on Season 18 of the flagship show -- and he put the show at the center of controversy with anti-gay remarks.

Earlier this summer at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif., ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey was asked by reporters about "The Bachelor's" diversity issue. She said, "I would very much like to see some changes there."

Dungey continued, "I think one of the biggest changes that we need to do is we need to increase the pool of diverse candidates in the beginning because part of what ends up happening as we go along is that there just aren't as many candidates to ultimately end up in the role of the next Bachelor or Bachelorette so that is something we really want to put some effort and energy towards."

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Last season, ABC received backlash for choosing the JoJo Fletcher as the next "Bachelorette." Though Fletcher is half-Persian, viewers and critics felt as if the network should have chosen a more diverse candidate -- especially after former ABC boss Paul Lee (who's spot was filled by Dungey) teased that the next "Bachelorette" would be diverse, at the time saying, "We're doing a whole lot of tweaks...I'd be very surprised if 'The Bachelorette' in the summer isn't diverse. I think that's likely."

"The Bachelorette" recently wrapped its 12th season at the beginning of this month with leading lady Fletcher choosing Jordan Rodgers. Prior, the most recent season of "The Bachelor" starred Ben Higgins who selected Lauren Bushnell as the winner. Up next, the engaged pair, Higgins and Bushnell, will have their own reality show on ABC's little sister network Freeform.

Variety

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