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|Directed by||Bryan O'Donnell
|Presented by||Alex McLeod|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Executive producer(s)||Chris Cowan
|Running time||60 mins.|
|Production company(s)||Fox World|
|Original release||January 6– November 24, 2003|
|Followed by||The Next Joe Millionaire|
Joe Millionaire is an American reality television show that was broadcast on Fox beginning in January 2003. It was broadcast in the United Kingdom that same year. A sequel, The Next Joe Millionaire, followed in October 2003.
The show, approved by Mike Darnell, was successful and became very popular, with an average of 34.6 million viewers in the United States tuning into the season-one finale, making it the most-watched episode of any reality show since the first-season finale, the second-season premiere, and the second-season finale of Survivor.
The basic premise is that bachelor Evan Marriott has inherited millions of dollars and is searching for a potential bride. He takes a group of hopeful women on several dates to exotic and luxurious locations, eliminating women at the end of each episode until only one woman remains. The main gimmick of the show is that the entire "millionaire" premise is a ruse. The women are not aware that this bachelor is in fact a working-class construction worker. (The Smoking Gun later discovered that Marriott had also been an underwear model for California Muscle.) After all other contestants have been eliminated, the secret is revealed to the last remaining woman. If she decides to stay with Marriott anyway, the couple is surprised with a real check for a million dollars.
A theme throughout the first season was Marriott's attempt to ascertain which of the twenty contestants were sincere and which ones were simply seeking a wealthy mate. Season 1 was helmed by ShowRunner and Co-Executive Producer Liz Bronstein, whose vision of the show as a spoof of the Bachelor and comedic send up of reality shows was widely praised.
The show made a minor star out of Paul Hogan, the manservant whose role developed in the words of the network "into the glue that held the show together". Hogan was not actually the host of the program - Alex McLeod was the program's host, although she appeared only briefly on each episode, for an estimated total of five minutes during the six-episode season.
Runner-up Sarah Kozer received notoriety when the media reported during the course of the show that she had appeared in bondage videos while she was attending law school. A scene from the show implied that Kozer and Marriott engaged in a sex act while out for a walk together. Marriott and Kozer claim no sex acts occurred. In the VH1 program VH1 News Presents: Reality TV Secrets Revealed she alleges that her statement "let's go somewhere quiet" was in fact spoken while she was receiving a back massage from another female contestant and that the producers dubbed it in during post editing and added suggestive sound effects and subtitles. The show's editors corroborated this fact later in an interview for Radar magazine.
Zora Andrich was the last woman to be chosen by Marriott, and they split $1 million. Their relationship did not last.
Joe Millionaire was filmed primarily at the Château de la Bourdaisière in the countryside of the commune of Montlouis-sur-Loire in the Indre-et-Loire département in France. Marriott is said to have made upwards of $2.5 million between Fox Networks payout, personal appearances and commercials. In 2004 he would go on to host the less-than-popular (GSN) Game Show Network show "Fake A Date". Marriott went back to contracting in Orange County, CA. Nearly a decade later, Marriott, changed somewhat in appearance, was interviewed for FOX's 25th Anniversary television special. Marriott later spoke of his disregard for reality television in interviews done after the special.
The Next Joe Millionaire
The second installment, following the same premise, was set in Northern Italy, primarily at the Villa Oliva in Tuscany. Marriott was replaced by 24-year-old David Smith from Midland, Texas, who, viewers were told, had earned only $11,000 the previous year as a cowboy on the rodeo circuit. Needing to find contestants who were unaware of the first show, the producers went to Europe and cast 14 English-speaking European women from the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden. During casting, the women were told by Fox casting agents that the show they were going to appear on would involve a group of European women interacting with American men on an island somewhere.
However, the show's popularity dissolved very quickly. As the Associated Press put it, Joe Millionaire "has gone from one of TV’s most surprising successes to the new season’s most spectacular flameout." FOX’s entertainment chair Sandy Grushow said, "Our instincts told us from the very beginning that Joe Millionaire was a one-time stunt and I think we got greedy." He added, "We tried to sneak it by the American public a second time and we got called on it."
The show's climax occurred when one of the contestants, Linda Kazdová, from Czech Republic, was brought back to the show after eliminating herself, and was later selected by Smith as the winner. By that time, though, the show's popularity had irreversibly declined, and no more seasons were produced.
Instead of sharing a million dollars, as Andrich and Marriott had in the first show, Smith was awarded a ranch in Texas, while Kazdova received $250,000. As with the first installment, the couple's post-show interaction was short-lived, as Smith and Kazdova were separated by distance shortly after the show aired. The Next Joe Millionaire drew less than 7 million viewers a week with a season finale attracting only 9 million viewers.
|Date||Episode Number||Household Rating||Share||Viewers|
|January 6, 2003||1||11.1||16||18.6|
|January 13, 2003||2||10.6||15||17.5|
|January 20, 2003||3||11.5||17||18.8|
|January 27, 2003||4||12.1||17||20.3|
|February 3, 2003||5||12.0||17||20.6|
|February 10, 2003||6||14.2||20||24.1|
|February 17, 2003||7||16.6||23||29.3|
|February 17, 2003||8||21.8||29||40|
|February 24, 2003||9||12.1||16||18.1|
Highest Rated: 7.6 million; Lowest: 5.4 million
- The Bachelor
- Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?
- I Wanna Marry "Harry"
- Married at First Sight (U.S. TV series)
- "'Joe Millionaire' two hour finale averages over 33 million viewers, record ratings'". realitytvworld.com. 2003-02-18.
- Susman, Gary (2003-01-07). "'Joe' Boxers". ew.com. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- "Paul Hogan: Host Bio". wnetwork.com. Archived from the original on October 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- Armstrong, Jennifer (2008-02-28). "Have You Seen This Woman?". ew.com. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- Silverman, Stephen M. (2003-01-31). "Kozer Opens Up on Adult Video Past". people.com. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- Edelstein, Jeff (2014-03-29). "Zora Andrich of Princeton recalls her star turn on 'Joe Millionaire,' wonders about 'I Wanna Marry Harry'". The Trentonian. Retrieved 2015-08-07.
- Levine, Dan; The Prague Compass. "The Girls of The Next Joe Millionaire". Prague Compass Magazine. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
- Article about the British version (courtesy of ukgameshow.com)