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Thread: Fox: 'Joe Millionaire' TV Fib OK

  1. #1
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Fox: 'Joe Millionaire' TV Fib OK

    Fox: 'Joe Millionaire' TV Fib OK
    Sat Jan 18, 7:32 PM ET
    By LYNN ELBER, AP Television Writer

    LOS ANGELES - Fox executives are making no apologies for "Joe Millionaire," the reality series built on a lie.

    The female contestants vying for the affections of Evan Marriott were told he's worth $50 million. He's really a $19,000-a-year construction worker, according to Fox.

    "I think that when people get involved in these unscripted shows these days, they know they're in for a ride," Gail Berman, Fox's entertainment president, told the Television Critics Association.

    The women of "Joe Millionaire" are eager to take part in post-production publicity, an indication they were satisfied with the series, Berman said Saturday.

    Marriott, 28, already has turned out to be more than a construction worker: He posed for underwear ads. There's been speculation that a real plot twist could be in store that Marriott actually may be wealthy.

    Asked about that possibility, Berman was guarded.

    "What we presented to the American public in our promos is accurate," she said. "We are not lying to them."

    Berman was asked if the public would feel it had been deceived when the show's finale airs Feb. 17.

    "I think the American public is going to be extremely satisfied by the ending of this show, extremely satisfied," she replied.

    In a later session with reporters, Marriott described a life that made him sound far from wealthy. His trade was hard hit by the post-Sept. 11 economic slump.

    "A lot of the reason I did the show is I had such a bad year financially. I couldn't afford a bed," he said.

    His parents are comfortable but not extremely affluent, Marriott said. His father worked two jobs, as a banker and teacher, and was a Marine Corps reservist, while his mother was primarily a homemaker.

    "We weren't living in poverty but my parents struggled to make sure my sister and I had nice things," Marriott said.

    He's worked a variety of jobs, including doorman and model, as he's tried to "find himself," he said. He dropped out of high school, Marriott said.

    As for his newfound celebrity, Marriott called it "freaky." He was amused by various rumors circulating about him, but also said he found it uncomfortable to disclose his limited education.

    "Joe Millionaire" has proven a hit for Fox, gaining the upscale viewers advertisers like to reach. It's the No. 3 show among adults 18 to 49 who earn $75,000 a year or more, behind NBC's "Friends" and "ER," the network said.

    On March 10, another reality show, "Married by America," will take over the "Joe Millionaire" 9 p.m. EST Monday time slot.

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    'Joe Millionaire' Insists He's a Regular Guy
    Sat Jan 18, 9:14 PM ET
    By Steve Gorman

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Evan Marriott, America's latest made-for-TV celebrity as the faux riche star of "Joe Millionaire," says he finds his newfound fame "freaky" but shrugs off tabloid rumors that he is gay, mean or even wealthy.

    Appearing on Saturday at the Fox television network's winter showcase for TV critics, the hunky 28-year-old construction worker said the thing he feels most self-conscious about in the glare of publicity is the revelation that he was a high school dropout.

    "Being called gay or being called a woman hater, I'm not any of those," said Marriott, who goes by the name Evan Wallace on Fox's hottest new prime-time property. "When I made the tabloids, my article was right next the three-headed baby from Indiana. How seriously can you take that?"

    "The thing that bothers me," he added, "is this thing about not finishing school. I don't like looking my parents in the face a lot of times."

    Besides construction work and odd jobs, Marriott acknowledged a brief stint modeling underwear, which he said he "hated." But he insisted that, true to the show's promotion, he was a man of modest upbringing and financial means.

    In the show, Marriott assumed a false identity as the wealthy heir to a $50 million fortune. Twenty young women compete for his affections, learning in the end that their Prince Charming is really a working stiff who earns less than $20,000 a year.

    The audience must wait until the Feb. 17 finale to find out whether the winning suitor stands by her man or runs the other way when she learns Marriott is a penniless diamond-in-the-rough.

    "Joe Millionaire," secretly taped in France late last year, has drawn unexpectedly big ratings for Fox, a unit of News Corp Ltd .

    The Jan. 6 debut averaged 18.6 million viewers, making it the most watched premiere ever for a reality series. After two installments, it currently ranks No. 3 among all network shows in prime time -- behind only "Friends" and "ER" among the key demographic of viewers under 50 earning more than $75,000 a year.

    "It's freaky. I was just on a backhoe eight weeks ago and now I'm somebody everyone wants to get near and touch," Marriott said. "I'm not back to a normal life yet. ... I don't know what the future holds for me."

    Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Marriott said his parents struggled to make sure he and his sister "had nice things." He said both parents worked, with his father holding down two jobs while serving in the Marine Corps Reserves.

    But Marriott said he considers himself "rich" in terms of the friends he has made over the years, recalling that he was first approached about being on the show by a friend who called him as he stood "in a trench trying to put a sewer pipe together."

    "And that's why I'm here."

  3. #3
    An innocent bystander nlmcp's Avatar
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    After seeing the house he grew up in and listening on ET about his private milatery school, I find his use of the words that his parents had to "struggle" a bit much. Our boy Evan was raised upper middle class all the way. Now, instead of being ashamed about no high school graduation, he needs to drag his sorry poor liar, rotton actor butt back to school and get that taken care of.

    (Yes, Evan annoys me, more then Mellissa M's whining, more then MOJO little self centered self, shoot even more then Heidi's gold digging bitchy ways.)
    I could go east, I could go west, it was all up to me to decide. Just then I saw a young hawk flyin' and my soul began to rise. ~Bob Seger

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    I don't know, nlmcp, sounds like what he said was pretty accurate. He said his parents struggled to give their kids nice things, and it also says his dad worked two jobs to do so. He doesn't say they struggled to make ends meet or put food on the table. One can't judge the day-to-day finances of a middle-class family just by looking at their house.

    He must have dropped out of high school for a reason, usually upper-middle class kids with comfortable lives don't do that.

  5. #5
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    Perhaps he had a lot of wealthy friends when he was growing up so it was a struggle for his parents to keep the pace with all thenthings his friends were getting.
    "That's Numberwang!"

  6. #6
    An innocent bystander nlmcp's Avatar
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    Nope sorry don't buy the struggling story at all. He is just trying to drum up support for the "it's ok that I'm lying to a bunch of evil gold diggers." role he is playing now. The more I see him, the more I hear him speak, the more is printed about him....I think he is a terrible person, a bad actor and not bright to boot. And I hope he goes back to his little bulldozer and is never heard from again.
    I could go east, I could go west, it was all up to me to decide. Just then I saw a young hawk flyin' and my soul began to rise. ~Bob Seger

  7. #7
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    I think it's highly likely that will happen.
    "That's Numberwang!"

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