NEW YORK – ABC had never hosted a black man or woman as the lead character in "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette" until this season. Some in the television industry privately suggested the network feared it would hurt the show among its audience of primarily older people.
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Three weeks into Rachel Lindsay's reign as "The Bachelorette," the Nielsen company reports that the show's audience is down 11 percent from last season in a year when ratings for reality shows are down across the board.
Nielsen said the previous season of "The Bachelor" had lost 6 percent of its viewers compared to the previous year.
ABC still led the weekly ratings, primarily because it aired two games of the NBA Finals between Golden State and Cleveland.