EW.com picks the next ''Bachelor.'' Now that ''The Bachelor'' is over, Ken Tucker says it's time to retune into ''The West Wing'' to see Rob Lowe's much smarter, handsomer single guy say goodbye
Rob Lowe, The West Wing
Credit: The West Wing: James Sorensen

EW.com picks the next ”Bachelor”

So “The Bachelor” has finally ended a nation’s latest round of becoming unhealthily involved in the come-on lines and pathetic desperation certain people — women AND men — can afix to the image projected by one smooth dude. The fact that bachelor Aaron Buerge has reportedly not been within smooching distance of his engagement-ring recipient, Helene Eksterowicz, more than about three times since the show was taped will probably not convince millions of viewers that, like the first “Bachelor,” the show was just-well, a show.

In any case, there’s another Aaron who’s probably more relieved than anyone else in America that “The Bachelor” is over: Aaron Sorkin, whose time-period competition “The West Wing” was getting pummelled by “Bachelor”‘s nights of wine-and-roses.

Once we’re clear of the holidays and their inevitable reruns, “The West Wing” has a chance to win back some of the viewer it’s lost to “The Bachelor.” Perhaps in preparation for this, “Wing” has spent the past few weeks feverishly injecting romance into its political sphere. Seems like everybody on the White House staff is hooking up, most recently Janel Moloney’s Donna flirting with guest Christian Slater. And Richard Schiff’s Toby is going to be a very grumpy yet undoubtedly devoted father of twins.

Funny coincidence, though — just as “The Bachelor” is leaving, so is “West Wing”‘s most eligible bachelor: Rob Lowe’s Sam Seaborn. Lowe’s been making a slow exit over the past few weeks, and the next new episode will bid farewell to Sam, who’s off to California to be a politician.

If “The West Wing” doesn’t perk up its demos, I’m making a suggestion to NBC entertainment chief Jeff Zucker: There’s a new series ripe for the creation-“Sam Seaborn: The Bachelor.” Think of it: Sam interviewing a score of young interns; Sam handing out roses, so soon after leaving the Rose Garden! It’s perfect counterprogramming. And unlike Aaron-the-ABC-bachelor, Aaron-the-NBC-writer can force his character to commit unconditionally. I hear wedding bells next sweeps period…

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