'The Bachelor' : ABC Announces Premiere Date for Season 26, Hosted by Jesse Palmer

The reality dating show will return in early 2022

When the calendar flips to a new year, we'll also get a new Bachelor: ABC announced Monday that season 26 of The Bachelor will premiere on Jan. 3.

While the network hasn't yet announced who will be stepping in as the next Bachelor, taking the reigns from season 25 lead Matt James, we do know that former Bachelor and NFL player Jesse Palmer will be hosting following Chris Harrison's exit from the franchise earlier this year. "I couldn't be more thrilled to be home," Palmer, 46, said in September of returning to the show.

That same month, ABC also shared a group of 33 possible contestants for the next installment.

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Palmer, who quietly married model Emely Fardo in 2020, posted an Instagram photo last month with Bachelorette season 18 contestant Clayton Echard. "#TheBachelor," he captioned the post.

The former football pro, 28, is competing for Michelle Young's affection on the current season of The Bachelorette, hosted by Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe. ABC has not confirmed Echard's involvement in the upcoming season of The Bachelor.

Adams, 31, and Bristowe, 36, also hosted Katie Thurston's season of The Bachelorette earlier this year. While Thurston, 30, accepted Blake Moynes' proposal during her season finale, the pair announced last week that they had split.

"We are so grateful for the moments we shared together and the entire journey that has unfolded this year, but we ultimately have concluded that we are not compatible as life partners, and it is the most caring choice for both of us to move forward independently," Thurston and Moynes, 31, said in a joint statement.

Season 18 of The Bachelorette is currently airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, and season 26 of The Bachelor premieres Jan. 3 at 8 p.m. ET.

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