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ABC picks up ‘Secret Millionaire’

Fox dropped reality series after first season

ABC has acquired six episodes of “The Secret Millionaire,” the feel-good reality show that bowed during the holiday season last year on Fox.

RDF USA, which is behind the show, wound up shopping it elsewhere after Fox didn’t pick up a second season.

ABC likely saw “Millionaire” as a good companion to some of its other emotion-driven reality entries, such as “Wife Swap” and the upcoming “Find My Family” (both also from RDF USA) and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

“Even though we had a bunch of places calling about it, we preemptively went to ABC. It’s a great format and has great longevity in the U.K.,” said RDF USA chief exec Chris Coelen, who is exec producer with Claire O’Donohoe.

Show will resume production later this year for a midseason launch. “Millionaire” began as an RDF UK format, launching on Channel 4 in December 2006 as its highest-rated new show of that year. On Fox, “Millionaire” bowed to more than 10 million viewers.

Show revolves around millionaires who disguise themselves as ordinary folks and embed themselves in poor neighborhoods. They later reveal their identity — while handing over a check to the folks they’ve befriended.

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