Variety reports that ABC has ordered seven episodes of "The Bachelor" creator Mike Fleiss' latest series idea -- "Rich Guy, Poor Guy," a one-hour unscripted relationship series in which two single men will try to find love from a pool of women, not unlike "The Bachelor." The twist: One of the men will be filthy rich, the other dirt poor. Neither the women involved in the show nor the audience will know who's the prince and who's the pauper. ABC is planning to air the series this summer.
To make things more interesting, the women will divide their time on the show between living in an opulent mansion and a much more downscale locale -- most likely a trailer park. Fleiss wouldn't say how the two bachelors will eliminate women from the competition, or what will happen when the two men pick the same women. "It's unlikely there'll be any roses involved, though," he quipped.
Despite the involvement of "Bachelor" creator Fleiss, "Rich Guy, Poor Guy" is not expected to be presented under the "Bachelor" umbrella and will instead be marketed as an entirely new concept. Fleiss said he and his team at Next Entertainment considered the idea of a dual bachelor show when they were pitching the original "Bachelor" series to networks. "Based on the success of 'Joe Millionaire' and the whole is-it-for-love-or-money vibe, we decided to go forward with this project," the producer said.
According to Variety, Fleiss is good friends with Fox alternative programming chief Mike Darnell, and when "Joe Millionaire" launched, industry observers couldn't help noting the surface similarities between "The Bachelor" and Fox's eventual megahit. Some observers will no doubt interpret "Rich Guy, Poor Guy" as Fleiss' attempt to one-up Darnell. Responds Fleiss: "When 'Joe Millionaire' came out, Mike said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I had to repay the compliment."