Joe Millionaire was worth millions to Fox Entertainment Group(NYSE: FOX). The "reality" show based on deceit, whose finale drew a Fox-record 40 million viewers, helped the network score a huge win in the just-completed February sweeps period.

Fox, 80.6% owned by News Corp(NYSE: NWS), took first place in the coveted 18-49 age group, marking the first time in three years that a network other than NBC(NYSE: GE) won that demographic.

Fox boasted blockbusters other than Joe Millionaire, as well: American Idol, for instance -- a show that's about nothing but singing tryouts, and the Michael Jackson "Interview They Wouldn't Show You," consisting of extra footage from an earlier ABC(NYSE: DIS) special.

CBS (NYSE: VIA) actually reeled in the most total viewers during sweeps, yet the headlines are treating Fox as the victor, underscoring the importance of the affluent 18-49 age demographic.

Because of this, don't expect the current craze of Survivor/Bachelorette-type reality shows to go away anytime soon. Don't even expect Joe Millionaire -- a seemingly one-shot concept -- to disappear. Fox says it will produce a sequel with "all the same values" as the original. "There will be men, there will be women, there will be romance, there will be money at stake," said network chairman Sandy Grushow.

What more could a couch potato ask for?