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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 14:44 GMT
Joe Millionaire set for comeback
Evan Marriot
Marriott revealed his true lack of wealth
US reality TV hit Joe Millionaire could be in line for a second series after 34.6 million people watched its last episode.

The show featured women battling for the heart of "millionaire" Evan Marriott - who was unmasked as a less well-off construction worker in the series' finale.

Marriott chose contestant Zora Andrich, a teacher, to be his partner - then revealed he was not worth $50m (31m) as he had claimed all along, before the couple were surprised with a $1m (625,955) gift from the Fox Network.

Now the channel is working out how to repeat the formula for a second series.

It provided several weeks of delightfully twisted and horribly addictive entertainment
Jami Ference, USA

Network bosses had previously dismissed the format - which depends on the surprise factor - as unrepeatable.

"It's an idea that would involve men, women and lots of money," Fox chairman Sandy Grushow told industry paper Variety.

"How those pieces are put together is for the future to tell."

Fox said the show was the highest-rated entertainment programme on any US network - excluding those directly shown after the Super Bowl - since the first series of Survivor on CBS in August 2000.

Rivals NBC and ABC tried to compete with programmes about pop star Michael Jackson.

NBC ran a two-hour special on the singer, while ABC repeated the controversial interview with him conducted by British journalist Martin Bashir.

But no other show on the major networks attracted more than half of Joe Millionaire's ratings during the night, according to the industry's Neilsen statistics.

The series is also credited with lifting Fox from being the lowest-rated network to the top-rated.

The 300th episode of The Simpsons on Sunday also scored high ratings, while American Idol - the US version of the UK's Pop Idol - is now in its second season. Both are shown on Fox.

"It's been a good day... and a great month at Fox," Mr Grushaw added.

"The network is hitting on all cylinders right now. Everybody here has really risen to the occasion."

A series of scandals also helped Joe Millionaire.

Marriott was revealed to be an underwear catalogue model and its runner-up admitted she had appeared in fetish movies.




SEE ALSO:
TV's Joe Millionaire picks his lady
18 Feb 03 |  Entertainment
Your views: Joe Millionaire finale
18 Feb 03 |  Entertainment
Reality TV dominates US ratings
15 Jan 03 |  Entertainment
Fake millionaire to woo TV contestants
08 Dec 02 |  Entertainment


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