John O'Connor illustration
McKnight’s Editorial Director John O’Connor
John O'Connor
John O’Connor

ABC has decided to new put a spin on its “Bachelor” franchise. This time, by tapping into the boomer demographic.

“The Golden Bachelor” is scheduled to make its debut this fall. The show’s protagonist will be Gerry Turner, an extremely fit, tan and good-looking Indiana native. The show’s publicists claim he’s 71. But if he wants to get a senior citizen discount, he’ll need to show some ID.

As an aside, he doesn’t appear to be the kind of person who would have much trouble finding love. Or even friends with benefits.

ABC’s synopsis pitches the show as a “whole new kind of love story — one for the golden years.”

Who am I to question the show or the angle being worked here? After all, the Bachelor franchise has been remarkably successful. Since making its debut in 2002, 60 seasons have been shown. Not a bad run.

And by all accounts, Central Casting could not have provided a better leading man. According to the network-provided bio, Turner is a doting father and grandfather who retired from the restaurant business. He hosts barbecues at his lakefront home with his pals, plays pickle ball, and enjoys four-wheeling and just generally hanging out.

My guess is this show — like the many Bachelor episodes that preceded it — will be a huge hit.

But here’s the thing: the concept is hardly untested.

Go to any senior living community in America, and unattached male residents in decent health with a driver’s license are likely to be, shall we say, very popular with the ladies. Especially if these men are ambulatory, sporting original teeth and still have hair to comb.

In fact, I’d be willing to bet there’s at least one such bachelor at your community right now. Maybe more than one. For as the saying goes, love finds a way.

Even if it’s not a way that next of kin might approve of.

John O’Connor is editorial director for McKnight’s Senior Living and its sister media brands, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, which focuses on skilled nursing, and McKnight’s Home Care. Read more of his columns here.