Joe Millionaire (2003) was a short-lived reality show. OK, so you take a bunch of women, an attractive-looking guy (and rich to boot!), and throw them all in a house for a romantic elimination-style RealityShow competition. What's that, you say? It's been done before? Not original?
Well, how about this: the guy (Evan Marriott) isn't really rich, but he's a working-class laborer who's [[MockMillionaire pretending]] to be rich - for the sake of the camera? Well, then you'd have ''Joe Millionaire''.
The show was a standard ''Bachelor''-style setup - each week, Evan would send off another lady who hadn't quite earned his affection. At the end of the show, he revealed his lack of finances to his ultimate choice (they didn't last as a couple), and they were given a million dollars to split between them.
''Joe Millionaire'' had an impact on the reality genre that is not to be overlooked: it was one of the earliest successful programs that could be described as "''TheBachelor'' with a twist". There was a second season - complete with new MockMillionaire - and this time, the ladies came from all over the world (understandable, as TheReveal from the first season was, thanks to its popularity, common knowledge in the United States). It didn't do nearly as well ratingswise, and that was it for the franchise.
!!This series provides examples of the following:
* BreakoutCharacter: The show made a minor star out of professional butler Paul Hogan, who narrated the opening titles, conducted ''MasterpieceTheatre''-inspired "fireside chats" with the viewers in each episode, and whose genial unflappability contrasted nicely with the pettiness and histrionics of the various contestants. The network and even the show itself acknowledged his popularity during its original run, and he was the only cast member to carry over to the second season. By contrast, the nominal "host", Alex [=McLeod=], appeared ''only'' in the elimination sequence (they used necklaces instead of [[TheBachelor roses]]), for a total of ''five minutes'' over the entire six-episode season.
* TheLibby: A contestant named Heidi was obviously groomed to be this, but she was eliminated early on. The eventual runner-up, Sarah Kozer, gradually replaced her.