February 17th, 2009
03:25 PM ET

Bringing back 'Millionaire'

The rumors are everywhere: ABC allegedly wants to bring back the prime-time “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”


EW reports, drawing on The New York Times, that the popularity of the film “Slumdog Millionaire” has prompted the network to ponder giving the show another summer run, perhaps in honor of its 10th anniversary. For those who don’t recall, “Millionaire” was a huge hit that August of 1999, one of the last network TV has produced. (It was followed by two other reality sensations, “Survivor” in 2000 and “American Idol” in 2002.)

I’d love to see the show come back, but I’m biased -– I was on the original prime-time show eight years ago. (And you can mock all you want - my friends all do.) The “Millionaire” scenes in “Slumdog” brought back all the excitement I remember, when nobody had any idea when the quiz show's juggernaut would end.

It did, of course, killed off by overexposure, too many stunt shows (those all-star broadcasts were dull) and -– as I know one friend of mine would argue - the deletion of the phone qualifying game in favor of contestant coordinators.

“Millionaire” remains a success around the world, though a lesser one here in the U.S., with the syndicated version slightly down in the ratings.

What do you think? Would a return of the prime-time version be a good idea? (EW's Margaret Lyons would rather see "Beat the Geeks.") Should Regis Philbin come back to host? And should it be a limited run, to maintain its novelty -– regardless of how well it does in the ratings?

- Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer

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