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'Joe Millionaire' ratings spectacular

HOLLYWOOD, California (Variety) -- This ain't your average Joe.

Fox's limited-run reality series "Joe Millionaire" has cashed in with jaw-dropping Nielsens, including some of the network's best Monday ratings in eight years.

The boffo bow overwhelmed and overshadowed a solid preview performance for UPN's new comedy "Abby," which moved to its regular night on Tuesday.

"Millionaire," Fox's twisted take on ABC's hit "The Bachelor," averaged a huge 10.1 rating/22 share in adults 18-49 and a 12.3/29 in adults 18-34, making it the highest-rated premiere of the season on any network -- scripted or unscripted -- in these coveted demographics. It more than quadrupled the two-week scores of the short-lived "Girls Club," which aired on Fox in the Monday-at-9 hour in October.

Throw in its 18.61 million viewers overall, and this is Fox's best series showing in the slot since "Melrose Place" in January 1995.

"These numbers are beyond anyone at the network's wildest expectations," Fox Entertainment president Gail Berman told Daily Variety.

"Millionaire" revolves around 20 women who compete for the affections of a wealthy bachelor, not knowing that he is in fact a regular working-class guy.

Berman said Fox reality chief Mike Darnell "conceived of something that just really tapped into the Zeitgeist of American culture."

Darnell said he believes "Millionaire" simply "struck a chord with viewers. The show's a new way to do reality."

The opening-night 18-49 rating for "Millionaire" tops all but one episode of both of Fox's other standout reality performers of the past two years -- "Temptation Island" and "American Idol." It also is higher than every episode of CBS' "Survivor: Thailand" earlier this season, and better than all but the finale of ABC's most recent edition of "The Bachelor."

"Millionaire" grew nicely on the half-hour, too, suggesting that people liked what they saw. The show is scheduled to wrap during the February sweep, as Fox plans to use the Monday hour for a variety of reality specials and series during the rest of the season.

"Joe's" audience makeup was roughly 42 percent male, making it more testosterone-tilting than ABC's "The Bachelor" (31 percent male this season), but it did its biggest numbers in women 18-34 (14.3/32) and women 18-49 (11.6/24). Heavy promotion during the NFL playoffs, combined with the game's "gotcha" twist, seemed to bring more males to the table, Berman said.

"Fox Sports (programming) has been a fantastic promotional platform for the launching of 'Joe Millionaire,' " Berman said. "The male numbers were very high for a relationship-oriented show, and football was a dynamic part of this launch."

Berman called the boffo bow for "Millionaire" just "one part of the puzzle" as Fox begins to jump into the 2002-03 season following its almost predictable fall fumbles, caused in part by taking the month of October off for baseball playoff coverage.

"Fox has always had a remarkable ability to rally in January," she said. "We're using 'Joe Millionaire' as a base for our other midseason shows and the move (of 'Fastlane') to Friday nights."

Network executives can now only salivate in anticipation of the ratings for the second edition of "American Idol," which bows January 21.


Copyright 2003 Reuters.

Now is the time to make real the promises of Democracy.


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Real quick MBM. I think this the most mean spirited idea for a show since the Jerry Springer Show.

The women who were let go early are the lucky ones. But let's face it, when a woman finds a man attractive and a good catch, it is most times the entire package. If those women only wanted a booty call, they didn't need a premise of him having a 50mil inheritance. I don't like this show and what it's going to do to the woman who finds out homeboy is a 19k per year ditch digger. lol.

Anyway, it's pretty mean joke to play for our entertainment.

I agree with Jaz. It is a mean joke--and what's so bad about it is that the women are being made to look like "gold-diggers" because such a big deal is being made about his money. If the premise was to show how cut-throat women can be for money--why not make Joe a middle aged man of less than average looks. but instead they get the strapping young dark haired buck to play the part.
and--what man or woman isn't going to comment on the possiblity of becoming Mrs./Mr. Millionaire when that's what's constantly being talked about. How can he say things like--'I was trying to see which one of the women would like me for me' when such a big deal has been made about the money. They might like him, and how he looks--but they're seeing the CHA-CHING, and the castle, and the fairy tale.

The other thing I don't understand is why so much emphasis was placed on his etiquette when he's a NEWBY to the life of the wealthy. It makes it seem like when money comes into your life your lifestyle and interest change. that you all of a sudden know about wine, and know how to ride horses, and know how to ball room dance...

I'll watch the show (because I've secretly become a "reality-tv" junkie-BACHLORETTE starts tonight!) but I think it's a pretty mean trick to play.
Well - what do you think of this???

In 2003 the CBS television network will air a program called "The Real Beverly Hillbillies." In this reality series CBS will take a poor, rural family and put them on display in a Beverly Hills mansion.

They have conducted searches for this family in the Deep South, the agricultural Midwest, and the Appalachian mountains. The network's requirements are that the family should have limited education and have experienced only minimal travel.

The joke is that they will not know how to live with riches, servants, modern appliances and prepared food. Audiences are to watch and guffaw at the poor family's clumsiness and their unworldly ways.

Next they're going to take a black man and make him president of the U.S.! Roll Eyes

Now is the time to make real the promises of Democracy.
I'd like to see a "reality" show where they take an average looking man or woman that secretly has millions, but plays the part of "Joe/Jane Middle America" and set them up with a wide variety of people, rich/poor, attractive/not so attractive, younger/older and all the combinations above. Then see want happens.

I probably wouldn't watch, but I think it would be interesting.
joey, joey, joey...

the smoking
Before Fox Television turned him into "Joe Millionaire," the eligible bachelor supposedly worth $50 million, Evan Marriott earned spare change modeling skimpy briefs for a California firm specializing in revealing swimwear, thongs, and leatherette underwear. Marriott, whom Fox describes as a $19,000-a-year construction worker, posed in November 2001 for California Muscle, a Los Angeles-based firm that sells its racy garments via a bi-annual catalog and web site. Marriott, as shown above, was snapped wearing a $26 Posing Suit. He can also be seen in a very snug $36 Arabian Boxer that leaves little to the imagination (the young and impressionable may want to avoid the photo below), and a $12.99 Gladiator Brief. According to Simon Nicholson, vice president of California Muscle, "Evan was short of cash and looking for work. He had a great face so we did a shoot with him." Nicholson said Marriott was paid about $1000 for the session, during which he was also photographed in a variety of bathing suits and underwear. Since 1987, the L.A. company has been selling "men's body and fantasy wear," including the Libido Boxer, Piston Thong, and Goliath String. Marriott was referred to California Muscle by Paula Crane, a photographer who specializes in portraits of male and female bodybuilders. Crane told TSG that she met Marriott two years ago at Gold's Gym in Venice, California, where she "shot some candids of him there. He has a great physique and he's a great looking guy...the girls were drooling all over him, the gay guys, too."

hmmmmm...does it even matter that he's not a millionaire?


mbm-didn't i hear you say you ordered the Goliath String a few months ago?? how's that workin out for ya? Big Grin

if you don't know your options, you don't have any!
Originally posted by Nykkii:

mbm-didn't i hear you say you ordered the Goliath String a few months ago?? how's that workin out for ya? Big Grin

Hey - times have been tough. I've done a little "modeling" myself! BTW - thanks so much for the $20 tip at the club the other night! Wink

Now is the time to make real the promises of Democracy.

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