Embarrassment for ABC as ‘Golden Bachelor’ Couple Divorces Three Months After TV Wedding, Maintaining Network’s Losing Streak of Breakups 

The show, a major hit for ABC that averaged almost 10 million viewers a night, has ended in tears.

'Golden Bachelor' couple Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist at their wedding. Via ABC

After millions of viewers watched an adoring, older couple marry on ABC’s hit series “The Golden Bachelor,” the pair is divorcing after only three months, the latest example of what happens when reality TV hits the real world. 

An experimental twist on ABC’s hugely successful “Bachelor” franchise, which dates back to 2002, “The Golden Bachelor” eschewed young contestants for senior citizens. The series turned out to be a major success by the standards of today’s broadcast television, averaging almost 10 million viewers a show. It was ABC’s most popular unscripted series in four years.

Gerry Turner, 72,  and Theresa Nist, 70,  who became engaged and then married after Mr. Turner chose Ms. Nist from 22 aspiring brides in their golden years, announced the divorce on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday after three months of marriage.

The couple’s split highlights how the overwhelming majority of couples from the core “Bachelor” franchise break up, most of them within months. Every couple from the first 18 seasons split. In subsequent seasons, there have been some twists — where the bachelor would dump his choice and then pair up with another contestant — but mostly breakups. The couples from the most recent two seasons are still together.

ABC has had more luck with lesser spinoffs from the core franchise such as “The Bachelorette,” “Bachelor Pad,” “Bachelor in Paradise,” “Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise,” “Bachelor Winter Games,” and “The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart.” All told, about 20 couples remain together from the wider “Bachelor Nation” universe, most of them from more recent seasons on which time has yet to take its toll.

As for the “Golden Bachelor” couple, time ran out fast.

'Golden Bachelor' couple Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist appear on ABC's 'Good Morning America.'
Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist appear on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America.’ Via ABC/’Good Morning America’

“Theresa and I have had a number of heart-to-heart conversations and we’ve looked closely at our situation, our living situation and so forth, and we’ve kind of come to the conclusion mutually that it’s probably time for us to dissolve our marriage,” Mr. Turner said in the “GMA” interview.

The couple said they had looked at multiple homes in South Carolina and New Jersey but were not able to find a living situation. 

“We have received so much love and support from so many people who watched ‘The Golden Bachelor’ and I don’t think we can tell you how many people told us that it gave them so much hope, we want none of that to change for anybody,” Ms. Nist said

The ABC News host conducting the interview, JuJu Chang, expressed shock over the quick turnaround. “Get a divorce? Three months after getting married?” Ms. Chang asked. “You can imagine what the reaction is going to be.” 

In January, the couple had professed their undying love to the world. “I promise to be your calm in the storm, to comfort you when you’re sad, to laugh with you when you are happy, and to stick with you throughout it all,” Ms. Nist said in her wedding vows. 

Mr. Turner had vowed: “We have a trust that cannot be broken.”

“Three months ago you were telling the world that you couldn’t imagine living without each other. I mean, what the heck, guys?’” Ms. Chang said. 

The couple has a prenup in place and the two plan to stay friends, per ABC. 

“There’s no doubt in my mind I still am in love with her, I root for her every day,” Mr. Turner said. Both agree, however, that they will “continue to look for love.”

Recently, a “Bachelorette” couple, Rachel Lindsay and Bryan Abasolo, shocked fans when they announced their split after four years of marriage.  

It’s been a bumpy ride for “The Bachelor” in recent years, despite its monster ratings. Its host of 19 years, Chris Harrison, was forced out in 2021 after he defended Season 25 constant Rachel Kirkconnell for once having attended a plantation-themed party during college.

The New York Sun

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