The Bachelorette to Air Two Seasons in 2021

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ABC is doubling down on The Bachelorette in 2021. 

The network confirmed on Tuesday during The Bachelor's finale that two seasons of the spinoff will air this year, keeping the franchise alive in the summer months and the fall months. 

Katie Thurston is set to star on The Bachelorette Season 17 in the summer, while Michelle Young will be around in the fall for The Bachelorette Season 18. 

Katie Thurston and Michelle Young

Both women were a part of The Bachelor Season 25, aka the season of Matt James, but they didn't make the cut to win his heart in the end. 

In the end, Matt James chose Rachael Kirkconnel, but their relationship imploded when racially insensitive social media posts caught up with the star. 

Chris Harrison, the franchise host, was M.I.A. from the After the Final Rose special due to a controversial interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay over Kirkconnell's past racially insensitive actions. 

Harrison Attends Daytime Emmys

Kirkconnell came under fire for old social media posts in which she dressed in Native American attire and attended an antebellum plantation-themed college party in 2018.

She has since called her actions "racist and wrong."

"I haven’t talked to Rachael about it, we all need to have a little grace, a little understanding, a little compassion," Harrison said to Lindsay last month.

"I have seen some stuff online. Again, this judge, jury, executioner thing where people are just tearing this girl’s life apart … Until I actually hear this woman have a chance to speak, who am I to say any of this."

Chris Harrison Attends Jingle Ball Event

"I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago that’s it... My guess? These girls got dressed up and went to a party and had a great time, they were 18 years old.

"Now, does that make it OK? I don’t know Rachel, you tell me. Were we all looking through [that lens] in 2018?”

Major backlash ensued, leading to Harrison dropping the following statement. 

"While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf. What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry," he said in his own statement.

Chris Harrison in 2015

"I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable. I promise to do better."

But while it seemed like Harrison was taking some time away, it seemed like he wanted to return for future seasons of the series. "I plan to be back and I want to be back," he said on GMA earlier this month, adding that he is "committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise."

"This interview is not the finish line," Harrison concluded.

As things stand, Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe are set to co-host The Bachelorette Season 17, which is gearing up for production now. 

Harrison, Chris The Bachelor

As things stand, it's unclear whether Bachelor in Paradise is foregoing another season in 2021.

What are your thoughts on the news?

Hit the comments. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

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