Fox Ponders Doing Another 'Joe Millionaire'
Wed Feb 19, 3:58 PM ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - It was a smash hit TV show by any standard, drawing millions of viewers and concluding with a two-hour special that drew some of the best ratings in years -- but at the heart of "Joe Millionaire" was a deception that may be hard to repeat.
So that perhaps explains why the Fox network was cagey on Wednesday about how it will put up a new series.
Sandy Grushow, the chairman of Fox Television Entertainment Group, told the Hollywood trade paper Daily Variety that the network was close to figuring out a way to do a sequel next season, but he did not elaborate other than to say the sequel would involve "lots of money."
The whole basis of "Joe Millionaire" was essentially a fraud; female contestants vied for the heart of a man they were told had inherited $50 million, but as the "winner," a substitute teacher named Zora, learned, "Joe" was in fact a $19,000 a year construction worker. But as a consolation prize the network gave Joe and Zora $500,000 each.
An average of 34.6 million viewers tuned in to Monday night's final episode, according to Nielsen Media Research; at one point fully 50 percent of all women between the ages of 18 and 34 watching TV were glued to the show.
Excluding post-Super Bowl programming, it was the highest-rated entertainment programming on any network since August 2000.
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