ABC boss on whether it's finally time for a black 'Bachelor'

Could season 24 finally be the one to feature a black Bachelor

ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke addressed the possibility at the network's Television Critics Association summer press tour on Monday. 

"I can tell you conversations are ongoing about who the next Bachelor will be," she told ET. 

"I will say this -- I do think the show has worked hard to increase diversity in its casting and is continuing to evolve," Burke added. "And as it evolves, we'll continue to see more diversity from the franchise."

The Bachelorette featured its first black lead with Rachel Lindsay's season in 2017. Air Force veteran Mike Johnson from Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette is many fans' -- and cast members' -- pick to become the first black Bachelor. However, he told ET at The Bachelorette: Men Tell All taping last month that he had yet to be approached for the gig. 

12 PHOTOS
'The Bachelorette' star Hannah Brown
See Gallery
'The Bachelorette' star Hannah Brown
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - 5/16/19 Hannah Brown of "The Bachelorette" is a guest on "Good Morning America," Thursday, May 16, 2019, airing on the Walt Disney Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/Walt Diswney Television via Getty Images) HANNAH BROWN
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Reality-TV Personality Hannah Brown is seen on May 16, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
THE BACHELORETTE - "Bachelorette Reunion: The Biggest Bachelorette Reunion in Bachelor History Ever!" - In anticipation of Hannah Brown's journey as the next Bachelorette, viewers will celebrate 15 seasons of romance with Chris Harrison as he hits the road in a double-decker bus with Bachelor Nation super fans, revisiting some of the most iconic date spots from "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" history. The momentous occasion will culminate with a Bachelorette reunion like no other, with special surprises along the way, on "The Bachelorette Reunion: The Biggest Bachelorette Reunion in Bachelor History Ever!," a two-hour special airing MONDAY, MAY 6 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (John Fleenor via Getty Images) DESIREE SIEGFRIED, RACHEL LINDSAY, DEANNA STAGLIANO, KAITLYN BRISTOWE, JOELLE "JOJO" FLETCHER, ANDI DORFMAN, TRISTA SUTTER, BECCA KUFRIN, ALI FEDOTOWSKY-MANNO, JILLIAN HARRIS, ASHLEY ROSENBAUM, EMILY MAYNARD-JOHNSON
THE BACHELORETTE - "1501" - It's a tractor...It's a plane...It's the self-appointed king of the jungle! Hannah's search for fierce love is matched with fierce competition as one hopeful bachelor sets a high bar by jumping the fence, while another pops out from the limo, in true beast fashion. At the end of the day, whether he is a golf pro looking to be Hannah's hole-in-one, a Box King seeking a woman who checks all his boxes, or a man with a custom-made pizza delivery, everyone wants a piece of Hannah's heart on the highly anticipated 15th season of "The Bachelorette," premiering MONDAY, MAY 13 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images) HANNAH BROWN
THE BACHELORETTE - "1501" - It's a tractor...It's a plane...It's the self-appointed king of the jungle! Hannah's search for fierce love is matched with fierce competition as one hopeful bachelor sets a high bar by jumping the fence, while another pops out from the limo, in true beast fashion. At the end of the day, whether he is a golf pro looking to be Hannah's hole-in-one, a Box King seeking a woman who checks all his boxes, or a man with a custom-made pizza delivery, everyone wants a piece of Hannah's heart on the highly anticipated 15th season of "The Bachelorette," premiering MONDAY, MAY 13 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images) MIKE, HANNAH BROWN
THE BACHELORETTE - "1501" - It's a tractor...It's a plane...It's the self-appointed king of the jungle! Hannah's search for fierce love is matched with fierce competition as one hopeful bachelor sets a high bar by jumping the fence, while another pops out from the limo, in true beast fashion. At the end of the day, whether he is a golf pro looking to be Hannah's hole-in-one, a Box King seeking a woman who checks all his boxes, or a man with a custom-made pizza delivery, everyone wants a piece of Hannah's heart on the highly anticipated 15th season of "The Bachelorette," premiering MONDAY, MAY 13 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images) HANNAH BROWN, CONNOR J.
THE BACHELORETTE - Hannah Brown caught the eye of Colton Underwood early on during the 23rd season of "The Bachelor," showing him, and all of America, what Alabama Hannah is made of - a fun country girl who is unapologetically herself. After being sent home unexpectedly, Hannah took the time to reflect on her breakup, gaining a powerful understanding of her desire to be deeply and fiercely loved. Now, with a newfound sense of self and a little southern charm, she is more ready than ever to find her true love on the milestone 15th season of "The Bachelorette." (Ed Herrera/ABC via Getty Images) HANNAH BROWN
THE BACHELORETTE - Hannah Brown caught the eye of Colton Underwood early on during the 23rd season of "The Bachelor," showing him, and all of America, what Alabama Hannah is made of - a fun country girl who is unapologetically herself. After being sent home unexpectedly, Hannah took the time to reflect on her breakup, gaining a powerful understanding of her desire to be deeply and fiercely loved. Now, with a newfound sense of self and a little southern charm, she is more ready than ever to find her true love on the milestone 15th season of "The Bachelorette." (Ed Herrera/ABC via Getty Images) HANNAH BROWN
THE BACHELORETTE - Hannah Brown caught the eye of Colton Underwood early on during the 23rd season of "The Bachelor," showing him, and all of America, what Alabama Hannah is made of - a fun country girl who is unapologetically herself. After being sent home unexpectedly, Hannah took the time to reflect on her breakup, gaining a powerful understanding of her desire to be deeply and fiercely loved. Now, with a newfound sense of self and a little southern charm, she is more ready than ever to find her true love on the milestone 15th season of "The Bachelorette." (Ed Herrera/ABC via Getty Images) HANNAH BROWN
THE BACHELOR - "Season Finale, Night Two" - America watched live on Monday night as a devastated and extremely emotional Colton finally decided what would be best for him. He put everything on the line, but what will happen to him and the remaining women? Find out on night two of the two-night, live special Season Finale event on "The Bachelor," TUESDAY, MARCH 12 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand. (John Fleenor via Getty Images) CHRIS HARRISON, HANNAH BROWN
THE BACHELOR - "Season Finale, Night Two" - America watched live on Monday night as a devastated and extremely emotional Colton finally decided what would be best for him. He put everything on the line, but what will happen to him and the remaining women? Find out on night two of the two-night, live special Season Finale event on "The Bachelor," TUESDAY, MARCH 12 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand. (John Fleenor via Getty Images) HANNAH BROWN
THE BACHELOR - "Season Finale, Night Two" - America watched live on Monday night as a devastated and extremely emotional Colton finally decided what would be best for him. He put everything on the line, but what will happen to him and the remaining women? Find out on night two of the two-night, live special Season Finale event on "The Bachelor," TUESDAY, MARCH 12 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand. (John Fleenor via Getty Images) HANNAH BROWN
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

During an interview with ET last week, ABC exec Rob Mills said that Johnson was "absolutely in contention" for the job. 

"He is just somebody that people really love. He's got a great story. We have somebody who has served our country, has really suffered through heartbreak. … You’ve got a billion-dollar smile and he looks great. He's got a following; those are the reasons he's in contention more than, 'Oh, this is so great, we can check that off now,'" he said. 

Mills also noted, however, that the next Bachelor selection depends on how things play out with the upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise, which premieres on Monday. Johnson is rumored to be a contestant on the show. 

"We don't start [filming The Bachelor] until September, and don't forget Colton [Underwood] and Nick [Viall] came from Bachelor in Paradise. So there's still some people that can be...who knows? Dean [Unglert] has that mustache now. Everyone thought he was too young, now maybe that is going to work out!" he added. 

Also in contention for Bachelor are Peter Weber and Tyler Cameron -- though the latter's chances are currently up in the air, considering his apparent sleepover with Brown and Sunday night date with Gigi Hadid

Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.