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'Joe Millionaire' has highest-rated reality show premiere of the 21st century

By Wade Paulsen, 01/09/2003 

According to the Associated Press, 'Joe Millionaire' not only had the highest-rated pemiere episode of the 2002-03 television season among "key demographics," as reported here, but it also had the highest-rated debut of any reality TV series during the current reality-TV boom.

The debut of 'Joe Millionaire' even outdrew the debut of the show that revitalized the reality genre -- CBS's original 'Survivor,' which debuted in May 2000.

Of course, 'Survivor' has since turned into one of the most reliable franchises on television, boosting CBS out of the doldrums and into first place among the networrks. It remains to be seen whether 'Joe' will be a similar one-in-a-million gem ... or just a one-shot deal.

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