Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

2004, TV Show

News

Forget the Cheerleader — Save NBC

NBC jumped the shark in 2004.The Apprentice was the hottest show on television. We're talking absolute must see TV that was oozing buzz. NBC tried to capitalize on the show's success and put all their eggs in the Donald's reality basket.I said it then, and I'm saying it now — moving The Apprentice to anchor Thursday nights sent the network right over the fin. ABC learned its lesson with Millionaire. CBS always had CSI and Everybody Loves Raymond to go with Survivor and The Amazing Race.Thursday nights belonged to NBC. It lost Friends and Frasier (which had jumped the shark years ago) and had nothing in the pipeline. First to fourth wasn't an "if", it was a "when".I understand how tempting it is to lead off each night with a game show or reality show (i.e. inexpensive show). It's also another big mistake. Deal or No Deal is getting pummeled into the ground as I type as the contestants get more and more "wacky".So you're Jeff Zucker... what do you do? Glad you asked.1. Pluck C... read more

Short Cuts: Flavor Flav, Millionaire and More!

Sunday's 90-minute Flavor of Love 2 season finale drew 7.5 million total viewers, making it VH1's highest-rated telecast ever and the No. 1 cable telecast for the night, but not the top non-sports telecast in all of basic cable for the entire year. That honor goes to the season opener of TNT's The Closer... Celebrity guest hosts will spell a busy, busy Meredith Vieira for "a couple of days" during the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire season currently in production, says the New York Daily News.... Megan Mullally, Dakota Fanning, Andie MacDowell and Beau Bridges have joined the guest list for the CMT Giants special honoring Reba McEntire, airing Nov. 18.UPDATED to correct one ratings superlative assigned to Flavor of Love 2 by the Hollywood Reporter. read more

Regis Has Got Talent

Regis Philbin and Simon Cowell, America's Got Talent

Somewhere along the line, miraculous multitasker Kelly Ripa must have inspired cohost Regis Philbin to return to his own juggling act. Just as he did when he launched the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire phenomenon, Philbin will balance his morning Live with Regis & Kelly act with a prime-time reality show, America's Got Talent (premiering Wednesday at 9 pm/ET on Fox). read more

My favorite TV moment this week...

My favorite TV moment this week (granted, I've been on the road and haven't watched a lot) occurred early Wednesday morning, as Matt Lauer defused the mawkish sentiment on the Today set in the wake of Katie Couric's long-awaited announcement that she would be leaving soon for CBS.

"Also coming up in this half hour..." Lauer quipped, as the Today crew (a great group, as I can attest to from the experience of being on the show a handful of times) broke into laughter.

What I loved about that gag was how it underscored the fact that life on Today would go on, no doubt quite robustly, after the Katie Couric era ends. (There have been so many: the Bryant Gumbel-Jane Pauley era; the Barbara Walters-Hugh Downs era; and so on).

This is a historic shift, no question, and shouldn't be underestimated even as it's overanaly read more

Who Wants to Be a Today Host? Meredith Vieira faces a balancing act, but she wouldn't be the first

Meredith Vieira, The View

History is about to repeat itself at NBC's Today. Any minute now, The View's Meredith Vieira will sign on as coanchor to replace Katie Couric after she leaves to join the CBS Evening News. But it looks like Vieira will keep her other gig as host of the syndicated read more

Is NBC's Big Deal the New Millionaire?

Deal or No Deal host Howie Mandel

Who still wants to be a millionaire? The contestants on NBC's Deal or No Deal, a new game show airing every night this week at 8 pm/ET, apparently do. Why else would they put themselves through the nerve-frazzling agony of deciding whether to keep one unopened case — which could contain anywhere from a penny to a cool mil — or "deal" it to the mysterious Bank for what could be a higher (or, natch, lower) payout. Sound a touch confusing here on "paper"? Let host Howie Mandel try to sum up the series, which is already a massive hit internationally.

Each contestant, confronted with a stage full of fab femmes, each holding a numbered case, "picks a number, and one of 26 different increments of money is in each box," Mandel says. But instead of simply popping open the chosen case to assess your bounty and whether you should walk away with it, "the wa read more

Regis Ups Millionaire Jackpot

Good news! Now, you don't have to win the lottery or cozy up to Ed McMahon to lay your greedy mitts on $10 million. Just get yourself on Super Millionaire — the amped-up version of ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire? debuting Feb. 22. And sorry, Meredith Vieira, original host Regis Philbin is back to emcee the big prime-time event. Here's how this Super-sized edition will be different... The biggest change is the grand prize increase from $1 million to $10 million. They hope this'll lure back viewers who burned out on Millionaire, back when ABC was airing it in constant rotation. "It's a terrific jackpot," Philbin says, "and it's just what we need to energize the audience and get them in here with us." As producer Michael Davies explains: "Frankly, $1 million ain't wh read more

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Premiered: May 16, 2004, on ABC
Rating: TV-G
User Rating: (26 ratings)
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Premise: A version of the British game that marked the return of big-money quiz shows to prime-time TV, in which players navigated a total of 15 questions for, originally, a $1 million prize. The Regis Philbin-helmed `Millionaire' was a national sensation when it debuted, but ABC sucked the life out of it by airing the show as many as four times a week. Reege returned to host an occasional `Super Millionaire' series in 2004. A weekday syndicated version places Meredith Vieira across from the hot seat.

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