'Joe Millionaire' Seen By 18.6 Million

Evan Marriott Joe Millionaire
"Joe Millionaire" can now be referred to as "Joe Mega-Hit."

Attracting 18.6 million viewers Monday, the Fox reality series had the highest-rated series kickoff on any network thus far in the 2002-03 season among "key demographics" — including the 18-to-49-year-old segment.

It outperformed the series premieres of every other recent reality show, including the original "Survivor" (which debuted on CBS in May 2000), and ABC's "The Bachelor," which it resembles.

Combining romance with a practical joke, the seven-episode "Joe Millionaire" tracks an eligible young bachelor, Evan Marriott, as he selects his dream woman from 20 lovely candidates — none of whom has any idea he's a construction worker who makes $19,000 a year, rather than the fabulously wealthy heir he pretends to be.