Credit: Ryan West
Credit: Ryan West

Producer and Visionary Behind “The Bachelor” Gives Us an Inside Look at His Cinematic Career

Turns Out, JoJo Ryder Is Not Your Average Jo

JoJo Ryder is at the top of his game. The executive producer and entertainment visionary helped pioneer top-rated shows like “The Bachelor” into ratings bonanzas, as well as served as the mastermind behind some of the most popular programming in the dating and reality realm—including “For the Love of Ray J” and “Bad Girls Club.” All told, Ryder is an unstoppable force, and he has no plans of slowing down his cinematic career any time soon. Producer JoJo Ryder

Credit: Ryan West

Ryder skyrocketed his way through the world of television, cementing his status as a bonafide hitmaker, who—despite his impressive IMDb page, Instagram following of 548k, a perfectly polished turn on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar and cadre of celebrity pals—comes across as pleasantly unpretentious, refreshingly genuine and irrefutably likable.

But before working with some of the biggest fish in town and crafting binge-worthy content around some of the best-known folks in the Metaverse (like Blac Chyna, Lamar Odom, Akon and Tina Knowles), Ryder began his career as an intern at Paramount Studios, where he set out to make a name for himself. No stranger to the hustle, Ryder learned the tricks of the trade, becoming a multi-faceted tour-de-force through experience from different roles and vantage points.

“In the entertainment world, you have to wear different hats,” says Ryder. “If you don’t have all these experiences in different fields, then you can’t be the best version of yourself and the best creator that you can be.” Producer JoJo Ryder

In 2007, after impressing the higher-ups at Paramount with his creativity and out-of-the-box vision, Ryder was recruited to bring fresh eyes to the ABC network juggernaut, “The Bachelor.” 

“Back in the day, dating shows were more dialogue driven,” Ryder explains. “How do we get viewers more invested in the storylines and in the characters? I said, ‘Why are we just showing them sitting and talking? Let’s take them on a journey.’ Because as a viewer, I need to have an emotional investment, otherwise I’m changing the channel. I want to be part of the date and part of the build up. Viewers want to go on that ride.” Producer JoJo Ryder

Credit: Ryan West

Ryder had the magic touch, and a youthful audience flocked to the franchise.

“My milk and honey is the [age 17-35] demographic,” says Ryder. “The reason why networks want to work with me is because that’s the heartbeat of my viewership. We were doing fun stuff that younger audiences were watching, and it really set the tone and took [“The Bachelor”] to another level.”

While riding the Bachelor wave, Ryder’s good friend Ray J was making headlines for his romantic liaisons with Kim Kardashian—then a relative newcomer to the zeitgeist. Concerned that public opinion had created a false impression of his pal, Ryder wanted to show the world a different side of the “Sexy Can I” singer. In 2009, “For the Love of Ray J” hit the scene, showcasing the hip-hop artist’s search for true love—with Ryder at the helm as producer. The show was a familiar concept, featuring a bevy of female contestants vying for a shot at Ray J’s heart, but Ryder brought a unique approach. Producer JoJo Ryder

“I said, ‘Instead of shooting it like a [regular] reality show, I want to shoot your show like a movie,’” Ryder explains of the collaboration. “‘We’re going to use movie cameras, we’re going to have you on private jets, going on yachts, and really do it big, like the movies.’” The show turned out to be a smash hit. “When I say that show was a wildfire, it was a wildfire. I had executives who never wanted to pick up the phone, who didn’t want to give me meetings, all trying to have me sign contracts and do studio deals.”

Since those early days, Ryder has branched out into feature films like 2014’s “American Heist” and the upcoming Diane Keaton-driven comedy, “Mack and Rita.” He’s also focused on documentaries for social justice, such as “Incorruptible,” which is about the fight for democracy in Senegal. He has also maintained his unscripted presence with new series like “Cooking with Chyna” and “Talks with Mama Tina,” as well as a docu-series about legendary LA Laker (and another Kardashian family-ex) Lamar Odom. Producer JoJo Ryder

“I think the future is bright,” Ryder says. “This industry is giving the power back to creators and giving the power back to visionaries. When I started out, we didn’t have Instagram, we didn’t have TikTok. Now there are so many creative people that are able to share their perspectives.” 

As for what’s next for the reality mogul? “Reality will always be part of my life, but doing a show just to get ratings doesn’t do it for me anymore,” Ryder says. “It can’t just be wild and crazy; there has to be an end goal where we inspire somebody. The goal is to keep growing, put out great content, work with great talent and hope that the viewers relate to it.” Producer JoJo Ryder

JoJo Ryder

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Based in Los Angeles, Kandace has spent the past ten years in the fashion and lifestyle space, and recently in entertainment at Sony Pictures Studios. She has a Masters in Journalism from Emerson College and has studied in Paris, Firenze, and Washington DC, beginning her career as a style editor and tastemaker for NBC. She is an internationally award-winning filmmaker, having studied screenwriting for film and television at UCLA, and her work has been celebrated around the world, in cities like London, Nice, New York, and Montréal. Paying homage to her French heritage, she is also the creator of The Chic American--a style and culture editorial destination for Francophiles, dedicated to the art of living an elevated, French-inspired lifestyle.

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