Channel 10 may be forced to axe The Bachelor franchise after Sunday's finale plummeted to record-low ratings. (Pictured left to right: Felix Von Hofe, Jed McIntosh and Thomas Malucelli)

If a Bachelor hands out his final rose but no one is watching, did it even happen?

That’s the question on TV executives’ lips this morning after The Bachelors finale on Sunday night aired to record-low ratings and a lacklustre response on social media.

The conclusion of the Channel 10 show, starring Jed McIntosh, Felix Von Hofe and Thomas Malucelli as the three leading men, had a five-city metro audience of just 358,000 viewers, making it the least-watched finale in Bachelor history. 

Channel 10 may be forced to axe The Bachelor franchise after Sunday's finale plummeted to record-low ratings. (Pictured left to right: Felix Von Hofe, Jed McIntosh and Thomas Malucelli)

Channel 10 may be forced to axe The Bachelor franchise after Sunday's finale plummeted to record-low ratings. (Pictured left to right: Felix Von Hofe, Jed McIntosh and Thomas Malucelli)

Channel 10 may be forced to axe The Bachelor franchise after Sunday’s finale plummeted to record-low ratings. (Pictured left to right: Felix Von Hofe, Jed McIntosh and Thomas Malucelli)

That result represents a steep 38.6 per cent decline from the last Bachelor finale, which aired in 2021.

It also marks the end of a devastating ratings season for the embattled dating series, which averaged just 291,000 metro viewers per episode.

The Bachelors also premiered to its worst launch audience ever before the start of the ratings year on January 9: 309,000 metro viewers.

The conclusion of the Channel 10 show, hosted by Osher Günsberg, had a metro audience of just 358,000 viewers, making it the least-watched finale in Bachelor history

The conclusion of the Channel 10 show, hosted by Osher Günsberg, had a metro audience of just 358,000 viewers, making it the least-watched finale in Bachelor history

The conclusion of the Channel 10 show, hosted by Osher Günsberg, had a metro audience of just 358,000 viewers, making it the least-watched finale in Bachelor history

This was 18,000 fewer viewers than the ratings-starved current affairs show The Project, which served as its lead-in.

In its 2018 heyday, The Bachelor would draw almost a million metro viewers per episode. This season saw episodes regularly falling below 300,000.

Meanwhile, critics have called for the series to be axed after Sunday’s finale, with many slamming the producers for favouring drama over genuine love stories.

Meanwhile, critics have called for the series to be axed after Sunday's finale, with many slamming the producers for favouring drama over real love stories. (Pictured: Jed McIntosh)

Meanwhile, critics have called for the series to be axed after Sunday's finale, with many slamming the producers for favouring drama over real love stories. (Pictured: Jed McIntosh)

Meanwhile, critics have called for the series to be axed after Sunday’s finale, with many slamming the producers for favouring drama over real love stories. (Pictured: Jed McIntosh)

‘Time to shut up shop after this season. Don’t need to state the obvious but it was a total flop,’ one complained.

Another agreed: ‘I’ve always loved this franchise but this season was so bad. It’s time to retire it to the archives.’

A third viewer added: ‘This was a terrible season. It was more about drama and less about love.’

Nevertheless, Channel 10 bosses revealed on Saturday they were happy with the show’s performance due to its streaming numbers.

'Time to shut up shop. Don't need to state the obvious but it was a total flop,' one complained, while another agreed: 'This season was so bad. It's time to retire it to the archives'

'Time to shut up shop. Don't need to state the obvious but it was a total flop,' one complained, while another agreed: 'This season was so bad. It's time to retire it to the archives'

‘Time to shut up shop. Don’t need to state the obvious but it was a total flop,’ one complained, while another agreed: ‘This season was so bad. It’s time to retire it to the archives’ 

Daniel Monaghan, Senior Vice President of Paramount Australia and New Zealand, told TV Tonight: ‘What we’re really encouraged by is our biggest start to 10Play ever.

‘The Bachelors is the number one commercial program on BVOD since its launch, with a growing 100 million minutes viewed.

‘The Bachelors has proven its utility on every platform by dominating younger demos on broadcast, growing 55 per cent with the addition of seven-day catch-up audiences, being the most watched commercial BVOD show, and stealing conversations on social.’

Despite the poor overnight metro audience, Channel 10 bosses revealed on Saturday they were happy with the show's performance due to its streaming numbers

Despite the poor overnight metro audience, Channel 10 bosses revealed on Saturday they were happy with the show's performance due to its streaming numbers

Despite the poor overnight metro audience, Channel 10 bosses revealed on Saturday they were happy with the show’s performance due to its streaming numbers 

Monaghan went on to say the network was happy with how the show had trended and engaged with a younger audience online.

Despite this positive PR spin, The Bachelors did screen double episodes during one week this summer, leading to speculation Channel 10 was trying to get through the season quickly to focus on other programs.

The prime-time show once commanded almost a million viewers a night when Nick ‘The Honey Badger’ Cummins drew a metro audience of 940,000.

Daniel Monaghan, Senior Vice President of Paramount Australia & New Zealand, told TV Tonight : 'What we're really encouraged by is our biggest start to 10Play ever'

Daniel Monaghan, Senior Vice President of Paramount Australia & New Zealand, told TV Tonight : 'What we're really encouraged by is our biggest start to 10Play ever'

Daniel Monaghan, Senior Vice President of Paramount Australia & New Zealand, told TV Tonight : ‘What we’re really encouraged by is our biggest start to 10Play ever’

The prime-time show once commanded almost a million viewers a night when Nick 'The Honey Badger' Cummins (pictured) drew a metro audience of 940,000

The prime-time show once commanded almost a million viewers a night when Nick 'The Honey Badger' Cummins (pictured) drew a metro audience of 940,000

The prime-time show once commanded almost a million viewers a night when Nick ‘The Honey Badger’ Cummins (pictured) drew a metro audience of 940,000 

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