McMillions
GenreTrue crime
Documentary series
Written by
  • James Lee Hernandez
  • Brian Lazarte
Directed by
  • James Lee Hernandez
  • Brian Lazarte
ComposerPinar Toprak
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6
Production
Executive producers
CinematographyJeff Dolen
Production companies
  • Unrealistic Ideas
  • Fun Meter
DistributorHBO
Release
Original networkHBO
Original releaseFebruary 3 (2020-02-03) –
March 9, 2020 (2020-03-09)
External links
Website

McMillions (stylized as McMillion$) is a documentary miniseries about the McDonald's Monopoly promotion scam that occurred between 1989 and 2001. Directed by James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte, the series details how the scam was perpetrated by Jerry Jacobson,[1] the head of security for the agency that ran the promotion, and how he recruited a wide range of accomplices. The series premiered in the US on February 3, 2020, on HBO, and all episodes were made available in the UK on May 27, 2020, on Sky Documentaries. McMillions was nominated for five Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series.

Premise

Main article: McDonald's Monopoly § Fraud

McMillions "examines the $24 million worth of fraud that corrupted the McDonald's Monopoly game between 1989 and 2001, in which there were almost no legitimate million dollar winners in the contest."[2] Through six episodes, the documentary introduces the FBI and other legal authorities who investigated the Monopoly game heist, as well as the bogus winners and the perpetrators. Using in-depth interviews with those involved in every aspect of the crime, McMillions offers an insider’s view into one of the most notorious fraud cases of the 1990s and early 2000s.

Episodes

No.TitleDirected byOriginal air date [3]U.S viewers
(millions)
1"Episode 1"James Lee Hernandez & Brian LazarteFebruary 3, 2020 (2020-02-03)0.339[4]
2"Episode 2"James Lee Hernandez & Brian LazarteFebruary 10, 2020 (2020-02-10)0.421[5]
3"Episode 3"James Lee Hernandez & Brian LazarteFebruary 17, 2020 (2020-02-17)0.402[6]
4"Episode 4"James Lee Hernandez & Brian LazarteFebruary 24, 2020 (2020-02-24)0.383[7]
5"Episode 5"James Lee Hernandez & Brian LazarteMarch 2, 2020 (2020-03-02)0.404[8]
6"Episode 6"James Lee Hernandez & Brian LazarteMarch 9, 2020 (2020-03-09)0.424[9]

Production

The series is executive produced by Unrealistic Ideas' Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Archie Gips and written, directed and also executive produced by James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte.[10][11][2]

Critical reception

On Rotten Tomatoes, the series had an 87% rating with an average score of 7.29 out of 10 based on 31 reviews. The site's critical consensus read: "Like something out of a movie, McMillions effectively — if not always artfully — captures the chaos of this once-in-a-lifetime, very real con and the colorful cast of characters at its center."[12] On Metacritic, it had a score of 72 out of 100 based on 15 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[13]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2020
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Archie Gips, James Lee Hernandez, Brian Lazarte, Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller Nominated [14]
Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Score) Pinar Toprak & Alex Kovacs (for "Episode 1") Nominated
Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming Jody McVeigh-Schultz, Lane Farnham, James Lee Hernandez, Brian Lazarte and Scott Hanson (for "Episode 3") Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera) Ben Freer, Jordan Meltzer and Jody McVeigh-Schultz (for "Episode 1") Nominated
Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte (for "Episode 1") Nominated
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in News and Information McMillions Nominated [15]
2021
Producers Guild of America Awards Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Archie Gips, James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte Nominated [16]

References

  1. ^ "What Happened To Jerome Jacobson, Mastermind Of The McDonald's Monopoly Fraud?". Oxygen Official Site. 2020-02-03. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  2. ^ a b Welk, Brian (January 9, 2020). "McDonald's Monopoly Scam Gets Exposed in HBO Doc 'McMillion$' Trailer". TheWrap. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  3. ^ "McMillion$ – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  4. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (February 4, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.3.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  5. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (February 11, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.10.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  6. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (February 18, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.17.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  7. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (February 25, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.24.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  8. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (March 3, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.2.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  9. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (March 10, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.9.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (11 August 2018). "Mark Wahlberg To Produce True Crime Docuseries 'McMillions' On McDonald's Monopoly Game Scam". Deadline. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  11. ^ Ehrlich, Brenna (January 9, 2020). "'McMillions' Docuseries Will Go Inside McDonald's Monopoly Game Scam". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  12. ^ "McMillions: Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  13. ^ "McMillions". Metacritic. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  14. ^ "McMillion$". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  15. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (July 9, 2020). "TCA Awards: Watchmen, Unbelievable and Schitt's Creek Lead Nominations". TVLine. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  16. ^ Hill, Libby (March 8, 2021). "'Bridgerton' and 'Ted Lasso' Among PGA Awards TV Nominees". Indiewire. Retrieved March 8, 2021.