Fox chief says network decision to make second 'Joe Millionaire' was "greedy"


By Wade Paulsen

At least Fox can see the obvious. The Associated Press reports that Fox's chairman of television entertainment, Sandy Grushow, now admits that Fox "got greedy" in trying to milk a second edition out of the riches-to-rags twist of Joe Millionaire.

Said Grushow, "Our instincts told us from the very beginning that Joe Millionaire was a one-time stunt and I think we got greedy." Very astute, considering that the show, which was a stunning smash during its initial run in the 2002-03 season, has been a stunning flop during its return. The Next Joe Millionaire has ranked only 85th for the current season ... and viewership actually declined significantly last week, although it was the next-to-last night for the series.

Despite the comments of several commentators who expressed reservations about the potential for a second JoeM series, Grushow was quoted at the time saying, "[We have] come up with a notion that carries all of the same values forward. We're obviously optimistic that it will perform extremely well when it returns." Now, Grushow said, "We tried to sneak it by the American public a second time and we got called on it."

Actually, considering the fact that the show is drawing less than 7 million viewers a week, we think that Fox is doing a very good job sneaking JoeM 2 past the American public. In fact, hardly anyone seems to be paying the slightest bit of attention to it. See, for example, today's Boston Herald, which has a major feature on NBC's Average Joe, which still has two more weeks to run after tonight ... and nary a word about the fact that The Next Joe Millionaire ends tonight.

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