"We're hell bent on figuring out how to make Paradise work," ABC's Senior Vice President Rob Mills said
Credit: ABC/John Fleenor

Bachelor in Paradise may be returning very soon!

ABC is "hell bent on figuring out how to make Paradise work," Rob Mills, senior vice president of alternative series, specials and late-night programming at ABC Entertainment, said in an interview with Variety.

"Unless something horrendous happens, I feel very confident that Paradise is coming back on this summer — how and where it's going to be, it's still too early to tell," he added.

The finale of season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise aired in September 2019, and filming for season 7 of the show was shelved last year due to filming constraints related to the coronavirus pandemic.

And for the upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise, the biggest challenge, Mills added to Variety, will be choosing the contestants.

"The biggest problem we're going to have is that we have probably about 150 potential people we can have in the cast between the four seasons that haven't been able to be on Paradise, and then other people who have been on previous seasons," he said. "How do you make that in to 15 to 18 cast members? It's going to be really tough."

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Paradise is typically shot in Mexico, though Mills says he isn't sure this would be possible for the upcoming season.

Wherever they shoot, contestants may need to be in a bubble, similar to this past season of The Bachelorette and the current season of The Bachelor with Matt James.

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"We're looking at different permutations and scenarios," Mills said. "Will the vaccine be widely available? Obviously, we don't want producers and cast members to be getting vaccinated early just for the show, but if people can get vaccinated, then maybe we're back in Mexico. If not, maybe there is a bubble situation in Mexico."

While no cast members have been locked down just yet, Mills did hint at a few possible contenders, including Ben Smith and Bennett Jordan from Tayshia Adams' season of The Bachelorette.

"I think right now, everybody is in consideration for Bachelor in Paradise, and certainly Bennett is on that list," Mills told Variety.

Of Smith, he added: "I can see him being one of the massive success of Bachelor in Paradise, like he will meet his wife there. If Ben would do us the privilege of being on Paradise, it would be fantastic."