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

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    I think that Regis is better for the "Millionaire" comebacks, but if something comes up, PLEASE don't hire someone as deadpanned as Meredith. It seems as if she DOESN'T want the contestants to win.

    People who I think should host (if Regis is somehow unavailable):
    Kelly Ripa, Jay Leno, George Lopez, Brittany Murphy, Conan O'Brien, Kathie Lee Gifford, Whoopi Goldberg, Tim Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, and Katie Couric.

    August 2, 2009 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Derek

    I strongly believe it should have a comeback!!

    When you watch TV these days, you see non- intelluctual programmes broadcast like Bachelor, Wife swap, Biggest Loser etc which are NON-DEVELOPMENTAL or in other words NON-SENSICAL whatsoever .

    Looking at the education standard deteorating day by day,shows like "Millionaire", Jeopardy etc should get a boost and make a comeback which will not only enlighten knowledge but also build interest in today's youth for a stronger and brighter future.

    In todays economy and global speed, you need education to compete globally. No country can rely on past glory.

    Knowledge is a PASSPORT to the future.

    Knowledge is POWER!!

    February 22, 2009 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MK

    Bring it back! It should have never gone off the air in the first place. They should have cut back on the shows, 4 days a week was annoying! I was a former contestant back in 2001 and the experience was amazing! HEY, how about a reunion show? Hint, Hint..

    February 20, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Walt

    Yes,please bring it back! I mean come on,the only people home in the afternoon to watch the syndicated version,are house-wives,stay at home dads & kids.

    I'm at work then and really never havea chance to see it.

    Different host though I'd say. How about Ellen DeGeneres?

    February 19, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Anna

    Bring back Millionare with Meredith but not the new version that's on during the day. The new one is where they are allowed a certain amout ot time to answer the questions. I do not like this new show. Bring back the original version!!!

    February 19, 2009 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ann Marie

    YES YES YES, bring back Who Wants to be a Millionaire but ONLY IF Reege comes back with!! No Meredith Viera and no 'celeb' contestants!

    February 18, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. oLD Dog

    I never watched more than a few minutes at a time, got board with it. Just like all the other game shows, and so called Reality Shows. BOARING.

    Sure bring it back just one more show on TV I WON’T be WATCHING.

    February 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Alice

    Please bring it back to prime time in Canada. Love Meredith. Miss the brain exercise at night.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kathy

    Let it go...its time has passed.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Adrianne in Los Angeles

    I'm a big fan of the current syndicated Millionnaire with Meredith Viera. She's a sensational host and if it is brought back in prime time, I'd like to see her as the host – Regis Philbin was just too stiff for my taste.

    February 18, 2009 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. Brandon

    Yes bring it back and only allow the lower to middle class to be contestants!

    February 18, 2009 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. Paul-Michael

    I would watch...but only if they bring back Regis. A refresh to the set and music wouldn't hurt either. Keep it familiar, but update it a little.

    February 18, 2009 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. carl

    No !

    Can none of the networks come up with anything new ?

    They almost all just have copies of other shows and poor reality shows.

    I watch very little on the three old major networks. In fact, I do not watch anything on ABC.

    The old big three are dying dinosauers. Continue with the same old garbage repacked and you will continue to lose viewers.

    February 18, 2009 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. Fabulous Phil

    No Regis please.
    Meredith did the best job on that show.
    Meredith is the reason I watched that show!
    Meredith is awesome.
    No, No, No Regis, please !
    Meredith Viera has EXCEPTIONAL stage appeal and presence,
    she's a born hostess with "the mostess".
    Nobody does it as good as Meredith!
    Let Regis go away in your memory.
    Meredith is the one to pick =)

    February 18, 2009 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. ryan

    I wish it would come come back. The current format only favors residents of the greater new york city area so everyone else must spend money to be on the show.

    February 18, 2009 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  16. Marilyn

    Should come back for a limited run with Regis. It would be fun.

    February 17, 2009 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Patty

    Bring it Back and Bring Regis Back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 17, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  18. ruby cunningham

    i'd love for millionaire to return but without that sadistic meredith viera, she seems to love to gig the contestants and make them squirm, some are visibily upset at her antics, it is so unnecessary.

    February 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Kimberly

    When it was first came on, I didn't watch it at first because of Regis, but then got hooked on it. I agree, what killed it (along with mine and other people's interest) was the over-exposure. The first celebrity show was fun (it has Rosie on it), but then they went down hill .. didn't they have like a former tv child star show? And showing it everynight of the week was toooo much. 1 to 3 shows per week is more than enough and YES, the host MUST be Regis!! Great family show because the younger family member can play along in the beginning (and I'm single/no kids). I agree, tooooo much reality on, need more good dramas, etc (like Pushing Daisies, boooo to you ABC for cancelling such an original show!) - but Millionaire is different - most the reality shows on ARE game shows – but the goals seem to be screw your buddy to win. Millionaire is simply a nice stop between Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.

    February 17, 2009 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  20. khalid

    yas way not but will i win i hoooooop that

    February 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  21. billyboy

    i loved that show! yes bring it back! it was more exciting than the daytime "millionaire."

    February 17, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Dan

    I'd bring it back on a limited basis...maybe for the summer and a couple of off-peak weeks during the year. They'd have to bring back Regis Philbin, IMHO. I know that some people think he's annoying or whatever, but he IS the host of that show...period! But if it's not Regis, then please do NOT let Meredith Viera host it...I couldn't stand her on "The View" and I still can't stand her on "Today"!

    February 17, 2009 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  23. A

    sure..why not...
    and since the comeback is inspired by "slumdog milionaire" how abt getting the guy who hosted the show in the movie, as the host...it will be fun..and a fitting tribute...

    February 17, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Anita

    The only way it should come back is with a change in the contestant testing. They had some of the stupidest people on that show so we quit watching. Also, didn't like Meredith as host. I like Jeopardy because you can win money if you are smart. I like 5th grader because you win money if you're smart. When Millionaire starts rewarding brains I'll watch it.

    February 17, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Sherri

    I think it should come back but they should also bring back the "fastest finger question" part of the show too. It's dull when they just bring out a new contestant who didn't have to compete to get there.

    February 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Lorraine

    It should be brought back, just like before with the 10 contestants and have theme nights. For those of you who say no Regis, how can you say that, he's the orignal. Bring him back also, You don't have to bring it back on a daily basis, perhaps weekly, and do charity shows like before, those were the best. REGIS REGIS REGIS REGIS!!!!!!!!

    February 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  27. JG

    We need a new gameshow, who wants to be employed

    February 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Barb Suchomel

    Yes, it should come back. We sit @ night and go thru the whole TV dial and still can't watch anything except weird, blood and guts shows that get real boring and no fun to watch. We should have more of the game shows that appeal to the middle and older age group. Thanks , and Regis would be good or George Clooney, He could do anything better,

    February 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Dolores Gevaza

    I would like to see it on primetime but not with Regis and not with quick finger question.
    I like Merideth Viera on the show and watch it all the time.

    February 17, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Boom

    NO REGIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 17, 2009 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  31. pattispear

    i love that show

    February 17, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Mustang Paul


    February 17, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Pat

    I always loved the show but only when Regis was the Host. I never cared for the Vierra woman, it was almost as though she was taunting the contestant. I wouldn't watch it when she was on but to tell the truth, the success was because of Regis. He made it exciting.

    February 17, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Hotelboyseattle

    No MORE Millionaire – the re-runs are rough as it is. And somehow Meredith is far from a good host.

    February 17, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Bubba

    Hey, that's a great idea. Joaquin Phoenix would be a great host. Get him a big bag of whatever he was smokin' before the Letterman show. Ratings would soar . . .

    February 17, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Jim

    Yes, yes, yes! Regis, Regis, Regis!

    February 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Richard

    Let's have Democrats and Republicans compete and call it, "Who Wants to be a Trillionaire?"

    February 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  38. jean

    it should only come backif regis is the host

    February 17, 2009 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  39. reading

    Quoting: "We need this just as much as we need a [whole] in our heads. [I’de] rather have Disco and [bellbottoms] [brung] back before this show."
    All this from just one poster!
    Then there is, " ...the show who be a millionaire."

    Not to mention all other inane opinions based on–what?

    Yes, perhaps let's bring back the show to help Americans raise their basic intelligence level.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Susan

    We need new things, although I think a similar show would be good, so long as it's something that celebrates actual intelligence. "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" reminded me to a disturbing degree of the Kornbluth story "The Marching Morons" (you may have seen it loosely adapted into a movie called Idiocracy) that featured a game show called "Take It And Stick It." In which the contestants competed to see who could stick geometric blocks into the right holes.

    The money can't be the only draw. "Ha-ha, adults are dumber than fifth graders" isn't an ideal we want our society to live up to. I want a game show where the winners are really admirable for winning. But just re-hashing the same show? I'm not sure. Update it, change the rules around a bit, call it something else.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Marv

    I say bring it back on two conditions.

    1. Go back to the original way to qualify for the show by doing the phone quiz and not the test/interview process they do now.

    2. Bring back the "fastest finger" portion in order to get into the hot seat.

    Oh ya, Millionaire isn't Milionaire without Regis!

    February 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  42. gloria

    Yes, by all means. I watch all the reruns that I can. It is not only knowledgeable but tests your intelligence along the way. I would love to see it come back.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Douglas

    NO! It was taken off for a reason. Are we really going to go through the whole cycle again from "OMG! It's the greatest show ever" to "Let's blame Regis for the show's failure!"
    Because once it starts, that's how it is going to end!

    February 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Jeff

    It would only be worthwhile to bring back "Millionaire" if they do it the Slumdog way. They need to bring the winners to the police station for "interrogation".

    February 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Jay

    Why not bring back McHales Navy and Rhoda while you're at it. What happened to originality in Hollywood, TV or movies? Unreal...

    February 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  46. MarkMedia

    Will someone PLEEZE kill reality tv already?
    Just say no.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  47. mari


    February 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Norm Coleman

    I think Al Franken should host!

    February 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  49. DORIS

    yes, bring Who wants to be a Millionaire back with Dennis Haysbert
    as host( the black guy in the Allstate commercials)

    February 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Tennessee Sunshine

    I think it should come back if Regis does the show. If anyone else, no way.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  51. bschneir

    As a past winner of $32,000, I'd welcome WWTBAM back. Final answer.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Erin

    Only if they use the daytime rules. Limiting the time a contestant has to answer moves the show along much better. The format is fairly bland – question, answer, question, answer – that it needs a clock to keep it interesting.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Dave

    No. WHY!
    Is network TV THIS devoid of new ideas that now they're remaking shows that aren't even 10 years old? Cable networks like USA and TNT are putting on some good original shows...and ABC wants to retry Regis while FOX trots out insipid garbage like "Hole in the Wall".
    ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, watch what's happening to the US auto industry because you're on the same path. The day an accurate ratings systems comes, it's over.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  54. scorebaby

    Shows like Millionaire create unrealistic expectations about making money and accumulating wealth - primarily, that it can be done without making a real effort, without applying your talent or abilities in a day-to-day capacity. Like lottery winnings, game show winnings can create tremendous problems for people who fritter it away on waste and excess. "Easy come, easy go." Look at the mess our society is in because people haven't lived within their means? Part of the blame surely falls on the TV shows like MIllionaire that emphasize "get rich quick" instead of living within your means, earning and saving over the long term based on your training and talents. Let's get real, people! Millionaire is soooo 10 years ago.

    February 17, 2009 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  55. jimmy eure

    yes i want you to but back on abc tv the show who be a millionaire

    February 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  56. veronica


    February 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  57. jek

    Yes, I would love to see it come back with either Regis or Meredith; both were great with it! These kind of shows are why I still watch
    jeopardy and wheel of fortune.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Zach K

    I think Meridith Viera needs some primetime light. She did well in the daytime version. Why not the nighttime too? 🙂

    February 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  59. d1m

    I say Drew Carey as a host. he has some game show experience and would be HILARIOUS (and they could move the show to Cleveland).

    February 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Laurie

    Yes, I'd love to see Millionaire come back with either hosts.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Doug

    If they really want to give it some ratings then they should bring it back but also the contestants should be ones that a very less fortunate then the Avg person. Viewers would eat this up as a "feel good story" and the network would get their ratings.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  62. mantrang

    "Who want to be a millionaire" is the best of all competetion and reality shows. Its content is so value in term of knowledge that is far compare with "Deal or No Deal", "Are you smarter than the fifth grade", and so on.
    It is a good test of general knowledge on all aspects of the society we are living in. Bring it back, for sure.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Laurie


    February 17, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Snarky

    Please no Regis.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Priyantha

    Yes for a limited time. It has to be Regis.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  66. brian

    Yes! And get Joaquin Phoenix to host.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  67. bob

    bring back millionaire and you have to bring back regis he was way much better than friggin meredith.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Kevin Kusreau

    I think it would be great to have the show come back. I watch the re-runs on GSN with Meredith as the host all the time.
    I understand about making it limited, to retain it's novelty, but it is fun to watch, so I'd like it to stay for a couple of years at least.
    Bring it back!!!

    February 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  69. dennisk

    Yes, bring it back in prime-time as a limited run–no matter how well it does. And you've got to have Regis. If you're going to do cheese, do it right!

    February 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Judy Schrope

    Definitely, it would be a great hit given the economic times we are in. . . who wouldn't want to see the average joe winning $$$.

    And yes, keep it a limited run.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Carrie

    No, it is over done still. I would never watch it in prime time, any more then I would watch the day time version. As if it should come back, when it never left (On daily!!!) makes no sense.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  72. barb


    February 17, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Filip

    We need this just as much as we need a whole in our heads. Are we really this void of creativity that we have to rehash something that is still on the air today? I'de rather have Disco and bellbottoms brung back before this show.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  74. JKT

    I'd like to see BOTH "Millionaire" and "Beat The Geeks". I enjoyed watching both when they were on. (The former still is in daytime with Meredith Viera, but I'm one of the lucky Americans who still has a full time job...)

    February 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Paula

    yes! yes! yes!

    February 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  76. S

    Sure, why not? The movie was good, But please don't bring back Regis.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  77. john h

    it should come back and i should be it's first contestant.

    February 17, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |

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