LOS ANGELES – Finally, a real millionaire?
ABC officials said yesterday the next star of The Bachelor -- expected to hit the air in March - won't be a single guy of dubious wealth as in Joe Millionaire -- but "the son of one of America's most affluent and prominent families."
"A shocking idea, isn't it?" ABC Entertainment President Susan Lyne told The New York Post yesterday.
Lyne, of course, would not disclose who the family is -- but guaranteed: "The guy has a pedigree and you will recognize the family name."
It is one more sign that the war among the networks for reality-TV show ideas is getting nasty.
The creators of The Bachelor have complained that the latest Fox reality hit, Joe Millionaire, is a rip-off of their show -- with the twist that the show's prize guy is not nearly as rich as he leads his young dates to believe.
CBS said yesterday it was going to start its own Bachelor knock-off, after losing a lawsuit to stop ABC from airing a spoof of CBS's Survivor.
And on its goes. ABC especially is leaning hard on reality programming this spring, bringing other non-scripted shows such as All American Girl, Are You Hot: The Search for America's Sexiest People, Extreme Makeover 2 as well as I'm a Celebrity.
"This reality craze can be like crack for network executives," says Lynn.
"And you have to be incredibly careful not to extend the number of time periods where you're using it."