NEW YORK -- A top Fox executive acknowledged Monday that "we got greedy" in ordering a second edition of "Joe Millionaire."
In nine months, the show has gone from one of TV's most surprising successes to the new season's most spectacular flameout. The final episode of its second season was to air Monday.
"Our instincts told us from the very beginning that 'Joe Millionaire' was a one-time stunt and I think we got greedy," Sandy Grushow, Fox television entertainment chairman, said on Monday.
About 40 million people watched in February when hunky Evan Marriott revealed to the woman he picked that he really wasn't the millionaire. The series as a whole drew an average of nearly 23 million viewers.
Some critics doubted that the show's concept would bear repeating, but Grushow said in February, "we're obviously optimistic that it will perform extremely well when it returns."
But despite moving the show's setting to Europe to find gullible women, audiences have yawned. This season, the series has averaged 6.5 million viewers (ranked No. 85 for the season), with 5.4 million tuning in last week, according to Nielsen Media Research.
"We tried to sneak it by the American public a second time and we got called on it," Grushow said.