‘Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?’ hosts: From Regis Philbin to Jimmy Kimmel, everyone who’s hosted
These are your final answers.
“Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” is a question the game show has asked for more than 20 years now. The first episode took place in 1999 and, while various formats and winners came through the years, one particular part of the show has always caught America’s eye: the hosts.
While Regis Philbin is still the most recognizable of the game show’s figureheads, there have been many hosts and guest hosts in between his original run to now.
MORE: ‘The Last Dance’ documentary: Release date, TV schedule for Michael Jordan series
With the show returning once more on Wednesday, here’s a list of everyone to ever host the show, and how they came to power in the chair:
Who Wants to be a Millionaire hosts
Regis Philbin (1999-2002)
The TV stalwart hosted “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” from the show’s inception in 1999 to 2002.
While the popularity of the show soared during the Philbin tenure — some shows had nearly 30 million viewers on any given night — the viewership began to wane in the later stages of his hosting tenure. At the time of syndication, ABC was filming four episodes a day and sought a host who would connect with contestants.
“When we were going into daytime, and it was not feasible for Regis to host the daytime show, because we shoot four shows a day, you’re looking for qualities in a new host,” executive producer Leigh Hampton told Game Show Network in 2007. “It had to be somebody who loves the contestants, who were rooting for the contestants.”
Meredith Vieira (2002-13)
Vieira, of “The View” fame, took over for Philbin in 2002; she lasted as host for over a decade.
As a host of the syndicated version of the show, Vieira won two Daytime Emmy awards, becoming the second woman ever to win in that category (Betty White was first, in 1983). She remains the longest-tenured host of the show.
Interestingly, Vieira wasn’t the first choice for the syndicated version of the show. Rosie O’Donnell was originally approached to host the show, but declined. In a twist of irony or coincidence, O’Donnell later replaced Vieira on “The View.”
Vieira announced she would leave the show in January 2013, with the final tapings of the show coming in November 2012.
“I don’t know what we would have done or if ‘Millionaire’ would still be alive were it not for Meredith Vieira,” executive producer Michael Davies said.
Cedric the Entertainer (2013-14)
The comedian took over hosting duties of the show in 2013. The hope was that Cedric would bring a signature, distinct flavor to the show — but he had a short run of it, eventually leaving the show in 2014 to focus on his wider schedule.
“With his deep roots as a successful stand-up comedian and actor, Cedric will bring his fresh approach and unpredictable fun to the show,” Disney-ABC Domestic TV President Janice Marinelli said in 2014.
He was replaced by Terry Crews.
Terry Crews (2014-15)
The hulking Crews took over for Cedric in 2014. Of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Everybody Hates Chris” fame, the former NFL player hosted the show for a short period before stepping away
“Terry is engaging, endearing, smart, and quick on his feet — the perfect combination to lead one of the longest-running franchises in game show history,” Janice Marinelli, president of Disney-ABC Domestic Television said in 2014.
Citing an increasingly busy work schedule, Crews would leave in 2015. He was replaced by Chris Harrison.
Chris Harrison (2015-19)
Harrison gained national fame by hosting “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” before taking over for Crews in 2015. Unfortunately for Harrison, his run as host came to an end in 2019, when the show was canceled by ABC.
Jimmy Kimmel (2020-present)
The first time in a primetime slot since 2009, Kimmel is hosting a special run of “Millionaire” shows with celebrities playing for charity. While there’s no word whether the limited series will turn out to be something more than that, Kimmel’s experience on the game show isn’t new. He was a one-time guest host on the program many, many years ago.
Kimmel and “Millionaire” return with a new format, with celebrities allowed to bring a guest to sit alongside them as a lifeline. Viewers can also dial in answers.
Looks like Jimmy’s already got some practice in, too:
Who Wants to be a Millionaire guest hosts
Chiefly in the latter half of Vieira’s tenure as host, myriad guests hosts sat in the chair:
Source: Read Full Article