'Joe Millionaire' to debut on Star World in October

MUMBAI: Joe Millionnaire, the hit reality show that raked in millions in greenbacks for the Fox Network earlier this year, is scheduled to hit Star World from 16 October.

'Joe Millionaire' Evan Marriott with finalists Sarah (left) and Zora

Slated to air in the Thursday 10 pm slot, the one currently occupied by The Practice, Joe Millionaire is one of the new clutch of shows that the channel is rolling out in a phased manner this quarter. Millionaire revolves around 20 women who compete for the affections of a bachelor who they think is worth $ 50 million, not knowing that he is in fact a construction worker making $19,000 a year. The show evoked unprecedented mania in the US when it was aired, striking a chord with viewers, averaging ratings that rivalled that of Super Bowl games. It instantly proved a hit with its blend of dating game and practical jokes, attracting 18.6 million viewers for its premiere. 

According to data from Nielsen Media Research, the two-hour finale of Fox's Joe Millionaire reality series, which began its run on 6 January this year, was nothing less than a blockbuster for the network, with an average of 34.6 million people tuning in. No other show on the other major networks drew more than about 18 million viewers in any one half-hour during the night, according to Nielsen data. The final hour of the show, at 9 pm, drew a 40 per cent share of TV viewers aged 18-49, the key demographic for advertisers. 

Among women ages 18 to 34 who were watching TV at 9 pm, 50 per cent turned on Joe Millionaire. Fox, say reports, had sold 30 second commercial spots for the finale for upwards of $550,000 each, one of the highest ever for a regular series, Reports say it was the highest rated series telecast on any network since CBS' premiere of Survivor II in January 2001 - in the post-Super Bowl slot, which also said it was Fox's highest-rated entertainment programme ever. 

And who was the lucky girl that got the groom at the end of it all? Zora Andrich beat blond Sarah Kozer in the finale of the show that had 19 women vying for Evan Marriot's affections through the competition. Zora and Evan went away from $ 1 million richer for their pains, loose change as far as what Fox raked in by the end of the series.

The question is whether it will draw viewers in India? Not all reality shows with their origins abroad have been a success in India. Temptation Island, which also aired on Star World, wound up hastily after the first season, while, on the other hand, AXN claims to have tasted success with the Hot N Wild formula. Whether viewers take to Joe , especially since the end result is known, will be known soon enough.

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