Joe Millionaire was a briefly popular reality television series on Fox. It revolved around pugnacious actor Joe Pesci's search for a wife, offering $1 million for whichever of the 20 gold-digging supermodels in competition could put up with him long enough to entertain the notion. The mysterious disappearance of contestant Tiffani Bryce at the end of the series' first episode, following a "private date" in Pesci's padlocked tool shed, caused ratings to spike. By the time Pesci flipped out a Spago and attempted to stab contestant Mindy Sklotnick in the eye with a butter knife for saying he was "a really funny guy," millions were tuning in. Unfortunately, the series was cut short by Pesci's arrest for serial homicide, the discovery of the three missing contestants' bodies buried under his tomato garden, and his subsequent conviction to 99 years in prison.
Pesci had commissioned a follow-up series, Joe Big House, but Fox nixed the show after having difficulty finding contestants who were neither infected with Hepatitis C nor members of the Aryan Brotherhood.