By People Staff
Updated October 26, 1998 12:00 AM
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The honeymoon’s not over yet for “Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?” The Fox special was a surprise ratings hit, but the backlash may be beginning. On the show, inspired by the overwhelming popularity of ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” 50 women competed for the chance to marry wealthy bachelor Rick Rowell, 42 — a complete stranger. After the broadcast, emergency room nurse Darva Conger, 34, wed the real estate developer and they departed for their honeymoon. (Conger signed a prenupital agreement before the civil ceremony.)”I think the show brings gutter television to a whole new low,” Elizabeth Toledo, a vice president of the National Organization for Women, told Reuters. Adds Robert Thompson of Syracuse University’s Center for the Study of Popular Television, “At the end of those two hours, if you turned down the volume of your TV and you listened real carefully, you could hear Western civilization crumbling around you.” Fox intends to rerun a one-hour broadcast of the show on Tuesday and its entertainment President Doug Herzog told the Associated Press they’re “definitely thinking about” another installment.

  • In other “Millionaire” news, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” plans a special all-movie themed episode to tape in March. And host Regis Philbin, who has been doing double-duty while continuing in his daily job as cohost of “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee,” had to cancel another commitment. Reege was scheduled to serve as guest host for David Letterman on next week’s “Late Show” but is too busy with “Millionaire” filming. His substitute substitute: Kathie Lee.