[03/17/03 - 12:00 AM]
ABC Orders 'Celebrity Mole 2,' 'Rich Guy, Poor Guy'
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- ABC is set for another edition of "Celebrity Mole," ordering seven episodes of the Stone Stanley Entertainment produced series. The news marks the fourth season of "The Mole" franchise and the second to bear the "Celebrity" name.

Earlier this season, "Celebrity Mole" gave ABC its best adults 18-34 numbers in the 10 p.m. Wednesday slot in six years and ranks as the network's fourth highest-rated show among adults 18-49 and 18-34, trailing only "The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette" and "Monday Night Football."

Ahmad Rashad is expected to return as host, while producer Clay Newbill is set to serve as showrunner. Casting is currently underway for the series, which is set for a summer or fall start.

ABC's own 'Joe'

The Alphabet network has also given a greenlight to seven episodes of "Rich Guy, Poor Guy," described as "The Bachelor" meets "Joe Millionaire." The reality series, from "Bachelor" creator Mike Fleiss, features two single men - one filthy rich, the other dirt poor - trying to find love from a pool of women. The twist however is that neither the women involved in the show nor the audience will know who's the prince and who's the pauper.

ABC is planning to fast-track the series for a summer launch in order to beat any second edition of FOX's "Joe Millionaire" to the air. Fleiss' Next Entertainment and Telepictures are behind the series, with Lisa Levenson serving a showrunner.

While similar in concept to "The Bachelor" the series will not be marketed as being under the show's umbrella. Viewers can expect several deviations from "The Bachelor" formula: there will be no roses and the women will divide their time on the show between living in mansion and a trailer park. Producers will also offer a justice of the peace to marry the winning couple should they choose to.

Fleiss also produces "Are You Hot?" on Thursday nights for ABC and is behind the upcoming reality series "The Will" on the network.

  [march 2003]  


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