An all-new season of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” with Emmy Award-winning host Meredith Vieira will premiere Monday, September 13 (check local listings), and this upcoming year promises to be a real game changer! From the very first question, viewers will see more strategy, unpredictability, excitement and tension as contestants try to win the show’s $1-million top prize. It will be the same great “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,” but with some new twists and turns that will add even more risk, reward and fun.
“I feel as though we’ve really upped the ante this year on ‘Millionaire.’ Every question counts and contestants will have to apply more strategy to see which risks they’re willing to take,” said host Meredith Vieira. “’Millionaire’ will look a lot different this year, but the foundation of the show remains intact. ‘Millionaire’ is the show that gives regular folks a chance to win extraordinary money, and we’re staying true to that premise,” she added.
Round #1 — Questions and Dollar Values Randomized
One of the most dramatic changes to the game will be evident from the very start of the show. “Millionaire” questions used to get progressively harder as the dollar values increased, but not anymore. The first round of the game will feature ten questions valued from $100 – $25,000, but before game play begins, the order of questions and the dollar value attached to each question will both be randomly shuffled. Each contestant’s path to $1-million will be unique and unpredictable. Now, the first question of the game could be worth $25,000 and quite possibly paired with the easiest question of the day. Conversely, contestants could end up facing a more difficult question attached to a lower dollar amount – or anything in between!
To keep contestants and viewers guessing, the dollar value of each question will not be revealed until after a contestant has answered it. Once it is revealed, that amount will be added to the contestant’s bank. Round one will include questions worth $100, $500, $1K, $2K, $3K, $5K, $7K, $10K, $15K and $25K. A contestant can potentially walk away from the first round with cumulative winnings of $68,600 in their bank if they answer all ten questions correctly. If a contestant gets stumped and chooses to stop playing during the first round of the game, he or she will walk away with half of the money accumulated in their bank.
Round #2 – “Classic Millionaire”
Once a contestant gets past the exciting first round of questions, they are guaranteed to win at least $25,000 and will then move on to round two of the game, best described as “Classic Millionaire.” The $50,000 question has been taken away and only four questions remain – valued at $100,000; $250,000; $500,000 and finally, $1,000,000. If a contestant walks away from game play during round two, he or she will get to keep all of their accumulated winnings.
New Lifeline – “Jump the Question”
Contestants will have a new lifeline called “Jump the Question” to help them navigate their way up to the $1-million question. If a contestant jumps a question, he or she will not have to answer it, but will forfeit the dollar amount attached to that question. Contestants will be given two “Jump the Question” lifelines. The classic “Ask the Audience” lifeline, which has been part of the show since its 1999 inception, will remain part of the game and will enable a contestant to seek the advice of the studio audience for help on any question.
Standing the Show Up On Its Feet!
The legendary “Millionaire” Hot Seat is gone and both the contestant and host Meredith Vieira will now stand throughout the show, allowing for more personal interaction and uninhibited emotion as the contestant accumulates winnings. Vieira and the contestant will stand in the hub of the stage, with questions and winnings presented on a massive 18 foot-wide high definition projection screen, enabling the studio audience and home viewers to play the game along with the contestant.
The syndicated version of “Millionaire” will celebrate its 1,500th episode this fall, with a special broadcast of the show on November 5, 2010.
Tune in for the “Dancing with the Stars” Edition of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” to see host Meredith Vieira cut a rug on the “Millionaire” set. The week-long specialty series will air March 29 – April 2. All week fans of the hit reality show will take to the “Millionaire” hot seat with a chance to walk away with $1-million. In addition to general trivia, contestants will also face questions about the “Dancing with the Stars” series, some of which will feature clips from the ABC show. Check local listings or go to www.millionairetv.com for more information.
“Dancing with the Stars” host Tom Bergeron will sit in as the Expert for the “Ask the Expert” lifeline all week and will be available on Skype to offer contestants assistance. Bergeron told contestants in advance that he felt comfortable helping to answer questions about pop culture, history, politics and celebrities, but that his areas of trivia weakness included literature, science and geography.
Meredith Vieira will get assistance delivering trivia questions to the contestants from the professional dancers featured on “Dancing with the Stars.” Celebrity Questions will be asked by professional dancers Cheryl Burke, Mark Ballas, Lacey Schwimmer, Chelsie Hightower, Derek Hough and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, as well as judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.
Hot seat contestants will also face Clip Questions, showcasing clips of memorable dances from celebrity dancers such as Drew Lachey, Emmitt Smith, Apolo Anton Ohno, Mario Lopez, Shannon Elizabeth, Helio Castroneves, Melanie Brown and Sabrina Bryan.
At the end of each episode, Meredith Vieira will join the contestants and studio audience for a dance party on the “Millionaire” set, complete with dance music and a dicso ball!
“Dancing with the Stars” returns to ABC Monday, March 22 (8:00 -10:02 p.m., ET) with an all new lineup of stars – including Pamela Anderson, Buzz Aldrin, Kate Gosselin, Evan Lysacek and Shannen Doherty. “Dancing with the Stars” is hosted by Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke, who was crowned the champion of Season Seven.
NEW YORK, Oct. 22 — Meredith Vieira won’t be the only person asking the questions on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” this season. Starting Monday, November 9, Vieira will get assistance from famous names such as Senator John McCain, Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty), Shaquille O’Neal (NBA), Jane Lynch (Glee), Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds), Robin Roberts (GMA) and even Cookie Monster (Sesame Street), who will all appear this season to ask questions of contestants in the Millionaire hot seat. Check local listings or go to www.millionairetv.com.
Celebrity Questions will debut Monday, November 9, the first day of the “Million Dollar Tournament of Ten,” during which, one contestant will walk away with $1-million! The Tournament will air November 9 – 20 and will feature the top ten contestants of the season, as they each look at a $1-million question. Contestants will be seeded, based on how much money they won on their previous appearance and how quickly they were able to answer their questions. The 10th seeded player will go first on November 9 and each day through November 20, the next best seeded player will get their own shot at a $1-million question. The top seeded contestant to correctly answer his or her question will walk away with the Tournament’s top prize of $1-million. Tournament finalists will be revealed November 6. Viewers can keep track of the qualifying process through a Leader Board that will be updated each day on the show and on www.millionairetv.com.
‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ Revamps Money Tree, Allowing Hot Seat Contestants to Walk Away with Even More Money
NEW YORK, Sept. 14 — “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” with Emmy Award-winning host Meredith Vieira is making big changes to the show’s “money tree,” giving hot seat contestants the opportunity to win even more money this season! Contestants will still face 15 questions to win the top prize of $1-million, but will be able to reach the higher level questions faster as the monetary values of the first eight questions will increase. The new “money tree” will take effect on Monday, September 14.
Millionaire will no longer start with the first three questions being valued at $100, $200 and $300. Instead, contestants will jump right into big-action game play with their very first question valued at $500. Contestants will reach the first safety level of $5,000 (formerly $1,000) after correctly answering the first five questions. At that point, they are guaranteed to win at least $5,000 from their hot seat appearance. The monetary values for the next three questions will also increase, leading up to the next safety level of $25,000.
“We’ve launched our own little stimulus package this season on Millionaire,” said Michael Davies, Executive Producer on the hit game show. “Regular Americans from all over the country have always been the stars of our show. This season, we’ll be giving them the opportunity to win even more money in the Millionaire hot seat,” he added.
Here is a rundown of the newly revamped Millionaire “money tree”:
The Disney/ABC Television Group received 19 Daytime Emmy Awards at the 36th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards presented this weekend, August 29th and 30th.
ABC’s “The View” received four Daytime Emmy Awards and made history when the honor of Outstanding Talk Show Host was bestowed on Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd. It was the first time in the 36 year history of NATAS that multiple talk show hosts were bestowed this honor. The women of “The View” have been nominated for 12 consecutive years in this category; this was their first win.
Other wins for ABC’s “The View” include Outstanding Directing in a Talk Show/Morning Program for Director, Mark Gentile; Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling and “Outstanding Achievement in Makeup.
NEW YORK, Aug. 31 — “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” with Emmy Award-winning host Meredith Vieira, is pumping up the excitement for its eighth season by revealing ten consecutive $1-million moments this fall in the all-new Tournament of Ten. Every Millionaire show counts, as the drama unfolds for contestants vying for their spot in the tournament and an opportunity to win $1-million. An all-new season of Millionaire will premiere Monday, September 7. Check local listings or go to www.millionairetv.com.
Tournament of Ten
A new addition for this season, the Tournament of Ten will feature the ten best contestants playing to win the show’s top prize of $1-million. Players earning a spot for the tournament will be seeded, based on how much money they won and how quickly they answered their questions. Starting September 7, viewers at home will be able to keep track of players qualifying for the tournament through a Leader Board that will be updated throughout each episode and daily on www.millionairetv.com.
All ten tournament players will be established by Friday, November 6 and the tournament will begin the following Monday, November 9. Each day November 9 – 20, one of the tournament finalists will look at a $1-million question, beginning with the 10th seeded player. After looking at the question, each contestant has the option of walking away with the money they won on their first appearance or risking it all for a possible $1-million prize.
If they answer correctly, they will be in the running to win the tournament’s $1-million payout. Each person seeded above them however, has the opportunity to knock them out of the tournament if they correctly answer their own $1-million question. The Tournament of Ten will culminate on November 20, after the top-seeded final contestant plays his or her own $1-million question in the hot seat.
10th Anniversary of Millionaire Franchise
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the 1999 launch of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” in the U.S. Throughout the last decade, $133-million has been won by hot seat contestants from both the original primetime show and the syndicated show (over $79-million in primetime and $53-million in syndication).
In honor of this milestone anniversary, ABC brought back Regis Philbin to host an 11-episode primetime series this August. Meredith Vieira appeared as a surprise celebrity guest on the final episode of Millionaire, which aired Sunday, August 23. As part of the show, Vieira invited all nine contestants who failed to make it out of the “Fastest Finger” round, to appear as contestants on the weekday version of the show, where they will start off directly in the hot seat! These nine ‘crossover contestants’ will appear in syndicated episodes airing September 7-14.
Notable Millionaire “Experts” Booked for September & October:
During the week of September 7 – 11, contestants will be able to ask famed former Millionaire contestant John Carpenter for assistance on any question past the $1,000 level. Carpenter will sit in as the featured “Expert” for the “Ask The Expert” lifeline and will be available via a face-to-face video call to help contestants in need. Carpenter was the very first Millionaire contestant to win the top prize on the game show (’99). In one of the most memorable Millionaire moments to-date, Carpenter used his “Phone A Friend” lifeline on the $1-million question to call his father, only to inform him that he “didn’t really need his help,” but wanted to let him know that he was going to win $1-million.
Other notable Millionaire “Experts” booked for September and October include Alexandra Wentworth (September 14-18), Ashleigh Banfield (September 21-25), Mo Rocca (September 28 — October 2), Robin Meade (October 5-7), Rene Syler (October 8 & 9), Cokie Roberts (October 12-16) and Ken Jennings (October 19-23).
Improvements that were made to the Millionaire format last season will continue this year, including a “Clock on the Questions” (:15 seconds for first five questions, :30 for next five and :45 for the last five questions) and the “Category Menu” (contestants and home viewers get a sneak peak at the question categories coming up on the show). Contestants start off in the hot seat with three lifelines (“Phone A Friend,” “Double Dip” and “Ask The Audience”) and once they correctly answer the $1,000 question, they are given a fourth lifeline, “Ask The Expert.” What has never changed is that Millionaire remains the only game show in the history of television where regular Americans from all over the country can win $1-million by simply answering fifteen questions.