'Bachelorette' creator Mike Fleiss: Jake-Vienna interview was fair
"I was surprised the ratings weren't higher, frankly," Fleiss tells Zap2it about the televised showdown Monday (July 5), in which the most recent "Bachelor" couple confronted each other over their breakup, following he-said-she-said interviews in magazines. "It was three, four and five in the Yahoo trending subjects all night long, so I don't think the [Nielsen] numbers are reflective. I think people watched the show in groups, and I think we had a much larger audience. The awareness was tremendous."
Still, Fleiss doesn't think Jake vs. Vienna was necessarily a game-changer for the "Bachelor" franchise: "I just think it was another exciting moment. The show, for whatever reason, produces a lot of water-cooler moments. Every season, there's something, and this was another in a long series of talked-about pieces of television."
Fleiss attended the taping of the interview and says what was broadcast was "pretty representative of what went down" -- this despite claims from Girardi's stepmother that it was edited to make Girardi look bad.
"It was a longer interview," Fleiss says, "so we had to take some of it out, but we wanted to give people a sense of both Vienna and Jake's positions. And the weirdness that ensued."
Fleiss had no qualms about following Girardi's tearful exit from the set, after Pavelka repeatedly said she should stop talking. "That's pretty standard reality television," he says. "If something's happening, those cameras are mobile. Why wouldn't you follow it?"
Fleiss' next creation, "Bachelor Pad," will bring together past "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" contestants for a new competition. The show premieres Aug. 9 on ABC.
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Photo credit: ABC