Production on the upcoming season will be complete around Thanksgiving

By Jodi Guglielmi
November 10, 2020 12:00 PM

The countdown to The Bachelor is on!

ABC announced Tuesday that Matt James' journey to find love will premiere on Jan. 4.

The historical 25th season, which features James, 28, as the franchise's first Black male lead, began filming in September at a resort in Pennsylvania. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — and much like the current season of The Bachelorette — the resort in Pennsylvania was completely rented out and the entire cast and crew underwent a two-week quarantine after arriving.

ABC Entertainment's Rob Mills previously teased James' season as unpredictable.

"Matt is not on [this] season of The Bachelorette, and the reason why we take leads from a previous season is because you know them so well and we can predict which person he might like or not," he told Variety. "But we just didn't know at all, so it was really fun to watch him interact with everyone."

Matt James
| Credit: Getty Images

Production on James' season will be complete around Thanksgiving.

Earlier this fall, ABC unveiled all 43 women who could be competing for James' heart on the show's Facebook page.

The group of potential contestants includes women mostly in their 20s, with just four out of the 43 hopefuls in their 30s. The youngest contestant is 21. The final cast will be released at a later date.

According to Mills, the first episode of James' season "couldn't have gone better" and the "women were so fantastic."

RELATED VIDEO: Mike Johnson Is 'Elated' for Matt James But Was 'Taken Aback' When He Was Announced 'Bachelor'

James was originally included in Clare Crawley's Bachelorette cast, but when her season was delayed due to the pandemic, James was announced as the franchise's next leading man.

The Bachelor premieres Jan. 4 on ABC.

Catch People (the TV Show!) Monday through Friday. Check your local listings for exact times or stream the show every day at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT at and