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HOME > The $25 Million Dollar Hoax

NBC to air a 'Fiance'-like '$25 Million Dollar Hoax' series beginning November 8


By Reality TV World staff, 10/18/2004 

If you enjoy reality hoax shows, happy days are here. In addition to the My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss and Ashton Kutcher-hosted You've Got A Friend programs that Fox and MTV will be premiering in the next few weeks, NBC has announced that it is also getting into the act with a three-episode The $25 Million Dollar Hoax reality series airing in November.

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Premiering November 8 in the Monday 10PM ET/PT time period in which NBC's Average Joe installments enjoyed ratings success last season, The $25 Million Dollar Hoax will follow a young woman as she attempts (in a style similar to last winter's My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance Fox series) to convince her family and friends that she has won a $25,000,000 lottery, with the goal being to watch their reactions as she changes from a "level-headed, sweet girl" to a "selfish spend-a-holic."

Helping to convince the family and friends of the legitimacy of the woman's winnings will be an appearance by Ed McMahon, the former Johnny Carson sidekick and Star Search host that for years was part of Publishers Clearing House's famous "prize patrol." George Gray, the former host of the syndicated The Weakest Link series will also participate.

Based on a British series called Million Pound Hoax, The $25 Million Dollar Hoax is produced by Ben Silverman's Reveille Productions and Hallock Healey Entertainment. Silverman, who appears to be building quite a relationship with NBC and its cable networks, had also teamed with Survivor producer Mark Burnett for The Restaurant and was behind the Blow Out series which aired on NBC's Bravo cable network. Additionally, he's also involved with The Biggest Loser, the new NBC weight loss reality show that premieres this week, and Spike TV's upcoming The Club.

"It's all the fun of watching new lottery winners and of watching how money changes everything," Silverman told Daily Variety, noting that the family members "begin to transform in negative ways" as they begin to realize exactly how rich their friend or relative has (supposedly) suddenly become. "It's funny, it's dramatic, it's personal." Silverman said.

In addition to Silverman, Scott Hallock and Kevin Healey (Scare Tactics) and Stuart Krasnow (Average Joe, Manhunt) are also executive producers.

The previous occupant of NBC's Monday 10PM time period, the Heather Locklear-fronted LAX, will taxi over to Wednesdays at 9PM ET/PT and take over the timeslot from Hawaii, which the network has put "on hiatus." So far the network has not made any announcement as to whether Average Jane, the Average Joe sequel that was originally scheduled to air in the 8PM Tuesday night time period first occupied by Last Comic Standing 3 and now The Biggest Loser, will be airing in the Monday 10PM time period following Hoax's three-episode run.

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