The Real Reason the Original 'Joe Millionaire' Went Off-Air After Two Seasons

Why was the original 'Joe Millionaire' canceled? Here's what changes viewers can expect in the 'Joe Millionaire' reboot 'For Richer or Poorer.'

Pretty Honore - Author

Jan. 7 2022, Published 5:47 p.m. ET

Evan Marriott
Source: Getty Images

Joe Millionaire first aired in January 2003 and nearly 20 years since its small-screen debut, the series is getting a reboot. For Richer or Poorer will feature not one, but two bachelors hoping to find love with two of the 20 women vying to win their hearts. However, only one woman will go home with a millionaire.

So, why was the original Joe Millionaire canceled and what will make the reboot a better success?

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Why was the original ‘Joe Millionaire’ canceled?

In the series premiere of Joe Millionaire, viewers were introduced to Evan Marriott. Promos for the reality dating series teased that Evan was young, wealthy, and looking for love. It wasn’t until later that both the contestants and the viewers learned that the leading man wasn’t a millionaire after all.

Evan Marriott
Source: Getty Images

Evan Marriott

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While nearly 40 million viewers tuned into the season finale, the show didn’t have the same success when it returned for Season 2. For The Next Joe Millionaire, which aired in the fall of 2003, producers filmed in Europe with hopes of duplicating their success. But because Season 2 followed the same format as Season 1, both viewers and contestants were hard to convince the second time around.

Both Evan and Joe Millionaire producers have addressed the show’s shortcomings. Sandy Grushow, the former head of FOX, told Vulture, “Our instincts told us from the very beginning that Joe Millionaire was a one-time stunt, and I think we got greedy.”

However, things will be much different in the show’s reboot, as FOX has learned from its mistakes. According to Jersey Shore producers ​​Sarah Howell and SallyAnn Salsano, Joe Millionaire fans will notice quite a few changes this time around.

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Kurt Sowers and Steven McBee star on 'For Richer or Poorer'
Source: FOX

Kurt Sowers and Steven McBee arrive to the mansion on the season premiere of 'For Richer or Poorer'

There are plenty of changes in the ‘Joe Millionaire’ reboot ‘For Richer or Poorer.’

Unlike the show’s predecessor, For Richer or Poorer strives to be transparent. The ladies are given full disclosure that one of the two bachelors is a “regular Joe,” while the other is the real Joe Millionaire. However, they won’t find out who’s who until the end.

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Season 1's leading men are Kurt Sowers and Steven McBee. While Kurt works in construction, Steven has a career in agriculture. According to the Joes, they had no idea what they were signing up for in the beginning.

The women, on the other hand, do know what they signed up for, which is perhaps the biggest change from the original Joe Millionaire. "The original show definitely misled the women. It was more of a lie to these women," Steven told UsWeekly. "In this remake ... the women know exactly what’s going on. They know one of us is wealthier than the other, they just don’t know which is which — which, in the grand scheme of things, shouldn’t matter.”

You can watch new episodes of Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on FOX.

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