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Will Fox Renew Joe Millionaire: For Richer Or Poorer For Season 2? Let's Look At The Ratings

Kurt Sowers and Steven McBee laugh on Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer
(Image credit: Fox)

Fox brought back Joe Millionaire for the 2021-2022 TV season to provide another option beyond The Bachelor for chaotic reality dating shenanigans. The show didn’t suffer from the fact that it originally ended after just two seasons back in 2003, and the format tweak to have two leading man worked well. The bromance between the two “Joes” combined with the romantic drama meant that the show earned itself a solid fanbase along the way. But is that fanbase big enough for Fox to order a second season?

Well, the network hasn’t announced whether or not Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer will be back again just yet, but we can look at the ratings data for the ten-episode Season 1 and see if the show scored the kinds of numbers that could earn a Season 2 and give another Joe or two a chance at love.

Steven McBee on Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer.

(Image credit: Fox)

The Season 1 Finale Numbers

Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer came to an end on Thursday, March 10 with Kurt Sowers and Steven McBee having to make their final decisions about which woman they each ultimately wanted to build a life with. Although one of their relationships has worked out better than the other’s in real life, the finale proved yet again that the money is the least interesting part of the show. And while the ratings and audience size weren’t the biggest in the 8 p.m. time slot on March 10, they also weren’t the lowest!

According to Spoiler TV, the Season 1 finale of Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer reached an audience of 1.76 million viewers and hit a rating of 0.36 in Live+Same day totals, a.k.a. the number of people who tuned in to watch live. The episode came in well behind Young Sheldon on CBS, Station 19 on ABC, and Law & Order on NBC, but did beat the new episode of The CW's Walker. Those numbers don’t exactly guarantee a Season 2, but finale ratings aren’t the only ones that matter. 

Kurt Sowers on Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer

(Image credit: Fox)

How The Season 1 Finale Compares To The Premiere

A key sign of a show’s success is not just how strongly it launches or concludes, but how well it holds onto its audience from beginning to end, and Joe Millionaire delivered finale and premiere totals that were surprisingly close to each other. The premiere on January 6 attracted an audience of 1.72 million and rating of 0.4, which compares nicely with the finale’s 1.76 million and 0.36 rating. 

While premieres and finales are traditionally the highest-rated and most-watched episodes in a season of television, it’s not necessarily the norm for them to deliver totals that are so close to each other. These numbers indicate that even though Joe Millionaire didn’t attract the biggest audience on Thursday nights for Fox, it did attract around the same size of audience at the end as it did in the beginning. 

Steven McBee and Kurt Sowers talk on Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer.

(Image credit: Fox)

How The Episodes Compared In Season 1

For the sake of showing how the episodes in between the premiere and finale did in comparison, let’s look at the numbers for the whole season. Just because the first and last episodes were nearly even with each other doesn’t mean that every installment hit around 1.7 million and a rating between 0.35 - 0.4. Take a look:

  • Episode 1: 0.4 rating and 1.72 million
  • Episode 2: 0.35 rating and 1.61 million
  • Episode 3: 0.32 rating and 1.65 million
  • Episode 4: 0.33 rating and 1.58 million
  • Episode 5: 0.32 rating and 1.68 million
  • Episode 6: 0.26 rating and 1.42 million
  • Episode 7: 0.31 rating and 1.62 million
  • Episode 8: 0.3 rating and 1.43 million
  • Episode 9: 0.26 rating and 1.36 million
  • Episode 10: 0.36 rating and 1.76 million

Season 1 was dipping consistently from week to week in Live+Same ratings, although there are variables that likely affected the numbers, including the 2022 Olympics over on NBC that removed some of TV’s biggest hits from primetime for weeks, and the long-awaited returns of Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy to mix things up Thursdays. 

Steven McBee, Martin Andrew and Kurt Sowers gather around a cell phone on Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer.

(Image credit: Fox)

How Joe Millionaire Performed In Delayed Viewing

Finally, let’s take a look at how well Joe Millionaire performed in the days after the live broadcasts. Although the majority of viewers watched on the nights that the episodes aired as opposed to over the course of the next week, the show did experience notable bumps in Live+3 (totals after three days) and Live+7 (totals after seven days). Let’s start with the ratings (via Spoiler TV), on average for Season 1:

  • Live+Same: 0.3
  • Live+3: 0.4 (rise of 33%)
  • Live+7: 0.4 (rise of 33%)

Joe Millionaire didn’t skyrocket with delayed ratings like some other shows do, although scripted series like The Rookie and A Million Little Things (among others) tend to get bigger delayed boosts than unscripted reality shows. The average viewership totals tell a similar story:

  • Live+Same: 1.62 million
  • Live+3: 1.92 million (rise of 18%)
  • Live+7: 1.99 million (rise of 22%)

So, what do all of these numbers tell us about the odds of Fox renewing Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer for Season 2? Well, the show ended strongly enough by its own standards, although it didn’t outperform any broadcast network competition other than Walker on The CW in the time slot. It dipped in the middle of the season, but the finale ticked up and nearly matched the ratings of the premiere. 

At this point, a renewal isn’t a sure thing, but I’d say that the ratings are solid enough to bring Joe Millionaire back again. It wouldn’t have been realistic to expect that the Fox series could beat or even rival the numbers of Bachelor Nation with its reality dating dominance on ABC, and it honestly could have flopped after the original was cancelled nearly twenty years ago after only two seasons. 

For now, though, only time will tell if fans will get to see another round of Joe Millionaire dating action on Fox. Check out our 2022 TV schedule for some viewing options now that Season 1 has come to an end. If you want to relive Kurt Sowers’ and Steven McBee’s searches for love, you can find the full season with a Hulu subscription now. 

Laura Hurley
Laura Hurley

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.