'Millionaire' to unveil new look, format
August 18th, 2010
02:28 PM ET

'Millionaire' to unveil new look, format

The syndicated version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" begins its ninth season next month, and fans of the long-running quiz show should expect some big changes.

"Millionaire" will unveil a new set, getting rid of the "Hot Seat" chairs that have been a staple of the show since it premiered on ABC more than a decade ago. Host Meredith Vieira and contestants will now stand throughout the show, with questions and winnings presented on an 18-foot wide projection screen.

The format of the show has also been modified.  Gone are two of the show's lifelines - Double Dip (contestants can choose two of four possible answers on a question) and Ask the Expert (contestants get help via Skype from a celebrity, former contestant or "know-it-all").  In addition, the iconic 15-question game has been cut to 14 questions, while the controversial time clock has been scrapped.

The show has also been split into two rounds, with the first round featuring 10 questions valued from between $100 and $25,000.  Before game play begins, the question order and the dollar values attached to the questions are randomized.  Contestants may now be forced to deal with a simple $25,000 question, as well as a quite difficult $100 question.

If the contestant manages to get past the first round, the game switches to what's being called "Classic Millionaire."  At this level, only four questions remain - valued at $100,000, $250,000, $500,000 and $1 million.

Contestants will also receive two "Jump the Question" lifelines.  If a contestant opts to jump a question, he or she will not have to answer it, but will forfeit the dollar amount attached to said question.   The Ask the Audience lifeline, which allows contestants to seek the advice of the studio audience, remains part of the game.

What do you think of the changes coming to "Millionaire"?

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Filed under: television

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Jon

    The new format SUCKS and I will no longer be TIVOing and watching the show.

    September 15, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rick

    The new format looks to much like deal or no deal and the contestants stand to make less money if they don't get though that first set of randomized mess-and what's with the standing up, host and contestants look very uncomfortable. The only part I like is no more ask the expert, most of whom didn't know Jack Don't like most of newchanges, so I'll be watching less, if at all.

    September 15, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Timster

    I've been playing the new version online at the Millionaire website, and I have to say that I kinda like it. It's different, where the old version was getting a bit stale, and, let's face it, they were changing things up every couple of years anyway! Let's give it a go first and see what the contestants are like, and how it flows. It might be cool. I will at least try it out for a while before judging.

    September 5, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    Tom, since you were at the taping did the contestants do better? how did the first person do compared to the ones later, did they win more as the watched more?

    August 19, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rozita

    True story of a man who came Oh-So-Close! to being on "Millionaire"! http://bit.ly/aYapzR

    August 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Steve L

    Like the current administration proves, not all CHANGE is good....

    August 19, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brian

    I didn't realize this show was still on the air. Thought it had been canceled already.

    August 19, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  8. Cheri

    I liked the show but stopped watching a couple years ago because it's too slow. maybe this will speed up the process. The beginning questions are too easy and I started to click away to come back to the more exciting part when the questions were more challenging. But even then the question and answer process was too slow! Maybe this will correct it.

    August 19, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. ZEE

    Give an option of sitting or standing...looking forward to the changes

    August 19, 2010 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  10. tyler

    poor meredith her feet will be killing her....

    August 19, 2010 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
  11. Adrianne Sosanie

    I liked the changes that were made last year, especially limiting the amount of time to answer. These changes are too convoluted and appears to alter the streamlining of the program. I think they'll lose their tv audience, possibly me too.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. Tom Bruce

    I was at the taping of the first three shows of the new season. If the studio audience reaction is any indication, the show's changes are a disater. Nobodey seemed to understand the randomizing (catch phrase?) of the questions and the dolllar values. Further, the audience was absolutely against the dropping of the timing feature. Contestants toolk way to long to answer questions snd the audience was put off by the delays. Also, the audiences reaction to one contestant explained his thinking (the postal abbrefiation for Maine, he said was "Ma," leaving the audience to groan loudly) made him change it to "Me," the correct answer.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      I agree about the time limit–what's the point of the "hot seat," when there's no pressure? Oh wait, there IS no hot seat! Just a hot piece of tape on the floor?? I don't like any of the changes–leave well enough alone! I miss Regis, too.

      August 19, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marky

    This show was so enjoyable to watch in the beginning and you could see if you knew the answers, enjoying the fun of it. Now it's a mess and starting to get messier, it sounds like. I hardly watch it at all and I used to watch it regularly. Bleech!

    August 18, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pat Hammons

    Most of the changes sound okay but I think they should leave the double dip option. If I were a contestant, I doubt if I could stand during all of the time I would be under the stress of (1) being on tv and (2) trying to concentrate on giving the correct answer. It would be much easier (and comfortable) on both the contestant and Meredith to be sitting down. For heaven's sake – give them a break..

    August 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. S

    Too much work seriously. Leave it the way it was.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Jillian

    Ugh, idk why they even tried to mess with the show in the first place, and these new changes sound....awful. Especially the standing part. I'll have to wait and see if I like it, but come on people...if aint broke....

    August 18, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marilyn

      I agree – hate the new format. I will not be watching it anymore.

      October 6, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |

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