The Benefactor (2004)
About The Benefactor
The Benefactor is an American reality television show broadcast on ABC starting on September 13, 2004. The premise involved 16 contestants vying to win US$1 million from billionaire entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
In late March and early April 2004, ABC held open auditions for the show in Atlanta, Boise, Boston, Dallas and Las Vegas and also accepted auditions by mail.
The show and its format were kept tightly under wraps during its filming, which began on April 30, 2004 in Dallas, Texas. Mark Cuban purposefully kept details about the show to a minimum, eliciting only a small bit of information about the show on his personal blog during filming. Dallas journalists, eager to learn what was going on, routinely compiled sightings of Benefactor film crews around town.
However, the show proved to be extremely unpopular and suffered from very low ratings, despite leading in to the popular Monday Night Football. The show also suffered from ABC stations in NFL markets moving the show to a timeslot after Jimmy Kimmel Live! or another night entirely due to local sports shows devoted to NFL coverage or local pre-game shows in the pre-MNF slot. Episode three had only 4.9 million viewers, the network’s least-watched show of that week. Episode four did even worse, with only 4.05 million viewers and finished sixth in its time slot among 18- to 49-year-olds.