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Chris Harrison Is 'Flipping the Script' with a Morning Show and His New Dating Series on Dr. Phil's Network

"For years and years I said, 'This is the most dramatic show ever.' We want to create a show where those words actually ring true," Harrison teased of the dating show

<p>Eric Anthony/Merit Street</p> From left: Chris Harrison, Lauren Zima and Dr. Phil McGraw

Eric Anthony/Merit Street

From left: Chris Harrison, Lauren Zima and Dr. Phil McGraw

Nearly three years after his abrupt exit from Bachelor Nation, Chris Harrison is returning to television with two new shows on Dr. Phil McGraw’s new network, Merit Street Media.

Harrison will host a morning show alongside his wife Lauren Zima as well as a new dating series, according to a press release from the network.

"Not only do I get to return to television, I get to do it with the woman I love," Harrison, 52, told Entertainment Tonight.

<p>Daniel Boczarski/Getty</p> Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima at the 10th Annual Unbridled Eve Kentucky Derby Gala in 2023.

Daniel Boczarski/Getty

Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima at the 10th Annual Unbridled Eve Kentucky Derby Gala in 2023.

Related: Chris Harrison ‘Grateful’ He Left The Bachelor: ‘I Had to Remove Myself from That Toxic Situation’

Zima, 36, noted that "our relationship is a big part of the morning show,” adding, "The morning show we're pulling together is gonna be a place for us to play, to have fun. What matters the most to both of us has always been our audience, so we want to be able to connect with them. What's more relatable than talking about our relationship and what's going on in our own lives?"

She added that the show — which is set to debut later this year —  will be a place for the pair to “be silly and to play.” She hopes “to give people a light, fun, entertaining moment in their mornings in a time when a lot of what's out there is tough."

As for the reality dating show — which Harrison will also co-creating — Dr. Phil promises it will be "so novel, so different."

<p>Amy Sussman/Getty</p> Chris Harrison attends the 49th Daytime Emmy Awards at Pasadena Convention Center on June 24, 2022 in Pasadena, California.

Amy Sussman/Getty

Chris Harrison attends the 49th Daytime Emmy Awards at Pasadena Convention Center on June 24, 2022 in Pasadena, California.

Related: Chris Harrison Marries Lauren Zima in Two Stunning Wedding Ceremonies: All the Details! (Exclusive)

"It has dating elements in it, but this is so different and so novel," he told Entertainment Tonight. "It is flipping the script in a way that I think people are gonna become addicted to it in a week. It is unbelievable."

Dr. Phil recalled telling the former host of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelorette in Paradise during their first meeting, “"If you want to do a relationship show, you can, but think bigger and broader. This is a blank slate."

"People got to know and love me for two decades hosting The Bachelor, so, yes, we are going to be creating a reality dating show," Harrison shared. "For years and years I said, 'This is the most dramatic show ever.' We want to create a show where those words actually ring true, so this dating show will be the most dramatic ever — that you can be sure of."

Related: Chris Harrison Says He Lost 20 Lbs. and Was 'Scared to Death' amid 'Bachelor' Controversy Fallout

In addition to the new shows, Harrison will also contribute to Dr. Phil Primetime, where he will do "some very penetrating field work having to do with some of these romance scams, these catfish type things."

Harrison and Zima are thrilled to join forces with Dr. Phil for the new venture. Harrison shared, "Call it divine intervention, karma, kismet, whatever it is, the fact that Dr. Phil created this network in my own backyard here in Dallas, it means the world to me to, not only be returning to television, but to be doing it here in a hometown crowd”

"It's really exciting to be here," Zima said. "The studio, the energy here is so invigorating. To have someone who is such a master of his craft like Phil running a network, it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime."

"What they're doing here is groundbreaking, innovative,” Harrison added. “It's going to be fun, of course it's going to be entertaining. We're doing television here, but I truly believe what this place stands for. [I'm] proud to be a part of it, and, above all else, we're doing it in our own backyard."

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Noel Vasquez/Getty; ohn Fleenor via Getty Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison
Noel Vasquez/Getty; ohn Fleenor via Getty Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison

Harrison's June 2021 departure from the Bachelor franchise came months after a controversy in which Rachel Lindsay — the franchise's first Black Bachelorette — called him out for defending another former cast member's past racist behavior.

Lindsay spoke out against Harrison after he seemingly defended contestant Rachael Kirkconnell during a 14-minute, unedited interview with Lindsay on Extra for past social media posts in which she dressed in Native American attire as a costume and attended an Antebellum plantation-themed ball. She later apologized, admitting that her "ignorance was racist" and that "I was wrong."

In a statement at the time, Harrison also apologized for "wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism."

In confirming news of his departure four months later, Harrison alluded to future endeavors.

"I've had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I'm excited to start a new chapter," he wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post. "I'm so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we've made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I've made will last a lifetime."

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