Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Kicks Off Season 10 September 5th
By Carrie Grosvenor, About.com Guide
“WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE” WITH HOST MEREDITH VIEIRA
PREMIERES TENTH SEASON SEPTEMBER 5, 2011
“Club Millionaire” to Launch in September, Providing Home Viewers
The Opportunity to Win a Coveted Spot to Appearance as a Millionaire Contestant
Big Name TV Stars Test Their Trivia Skills This Season
As They Play for Charity on Millionaire
NEW YORK (August 22, 2011) – You may miss waking up each morning to Meredith Vieira bringing you the headlines, but you can still catch her every day on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,” as she gives away life changing money with her unprecedented sense of humor, style and class. Millionaire, with Emmy Award-winning host Meredith Vieira, will premiere its tenth season on Monday, September 5, 2011 (check local listings).
The fun and excitement never end on Millionaire as each weekday, ordinary people are given an extraordinary chance to change their lives and win $1 million by answering 14 general knowledge trivia questions. Millionaire continues to present the best of both worlds by featuring cleverly written trivia questions that reveal entertaining facts, along with heart-pounding tension and drama as contestants climb their way up to the $1 million question. Never before has a game show made learning so much fun!
This season, Millionaire’s home viewers will have the chance to win fabulous prizes – including the chance to win $1 million as a contestant on the show – just by watching “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” and participating in Club Millionaire! Club Millionaire will launch this September and will offer exclusive deals and weekly sweepstakes specifically designed for Millionaire viewers. Club members can win exciting prizes like vacations, cruises and electronics and at least three lucky viewers will win a coveted spot to appear as a contestant on the show in New York City! Viewers who enter the Club at MillionaireTV.com can submit keywords revealed each day on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” and will automatically be entered to win sweepstakes. This season, it pays more than ever to watch Millionaire each and every day!
This year, Meredith Vieira and Millionaire will present several new and exciting specialty episodes that will help make the upcoming tenth season of the show one of the most entertaining yet!
• Famous names from the entertainment industry will test their trivia skills on a special presentation of “Celebrity Week” to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. “Celebrity Week” will air September 19 – 23 in honor of World Alzheimer’s Month throughout September and Alzheimer’s Action Day on September 21.
• Everyone’s favorite paranormal experts, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson from the hit Syfy show Ghost Hunters will make a return appearance on Millionaire this season, as they play for charity on a special Halloween-themed episode of the game show airing on Monday, October 31. Meredith Vieira will also appear in an episode of Ghost Hunters this season as she joins Jason and Grant on a ghost hunt in Staten Island, NY to experience paranormal phenomena first-hand! Meredith Vieira’s guest appearance on Ghost Hunters is scheduled to air Wednesday, October 26.
• Millionaire will honor Broadway this season by hosting the stars of Disney’s hit stage musical Mary Poppins as contestants on the show. The Poppins cast will help to kick off the specialty week (airing November 7 – 11) and will donate their winnings to The Actors Fund, a national human services organization that helps professionals in performing arts and entertainment in times of need, crisis or transition. Throughout the week on Millionaire, each contestant will be asked one Broadway-themed question. If they answer correctly, they will win tickets to a Broadway show for themselves as well as members of the studio audience.
• In a special crossover episode with ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition, designers Michael Moloney and Paige Hemmis will try to win $1 million on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” to benefit a charity being featured on their show. Meredith Vieira will present the designers’ Millionaire winnings to the featured charity in a special Extreme Makeover guest appearance. Both crossover episodes are scheduled to air Friday, November 18.
• Mike Rowe, the creator and executive producer of Discovery Channel’s Emmy-nominated series Dirty Jobs With Mike Rowe will appear as a contestant and try to raise money for the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. Formed in 2008, the foundation supports and promotes the skilled trades and serves as a “PR Campaign for Hard Work.” Tune in to see if all of Mike Rowe’s various life experiences will prepare him for his appearance as a Millionaire contestant!
• Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand, brothers and cast members from the highly-rated Discovery Channel series Deadliest Catch will appear as a team on an episode of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” and will donate all of their winnings to the Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial. The fund is dedicated to promoting safety in the fishing fleets and easing the burdens of the families and friends of fishermen/women lost at sea.
• Contestants may find themselves winning more than just money this season on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” During special weeks, prizes will be attached to Millionaire questions and if the contestant answers correctly, they will also win fabulous prizes like household appliances from Maytag or even a Disney Cruise!
Last season, Millionaire implemented several changes to the format of the show, all of which added to the drama, tension and excitement for both the contestant and home viewer. Contestant’s questions are divided into two rounds. The first round of the game features ten questions valued from $100 – $25,000, but before game play begins, the order of questions and the dollar value attached to each question are both randomly shuffled. Randomization of the questions ensures that no two games are alike and that each contestant’s path to $1 million is unique and unpredictable.
To keep contestants and viewers guessing, the dollar value of each question in the first round is not revealed until after a contestant has answered it. Once revealed, that amount is added to the contestant’s bank. If a contestant gets stumped and chooses to stop playing during the first round of the game, he or she walks away with half of the money accumulated in their bank. If they guess incorrectly in the first round, they leave the show with $1,000 in winnings.
Once a contestant gets past the exciting first round of questions, they are guaranteed to win at least $25,000 as they move on to the more difficult and tension-filled second round of the game, which features four questions of progressive difficulty, 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 gets to keep all accumulated winnings.
Contestants have three lifelines to help them maneuver their way up to the $1 million question. Each contestant is given two “Jump The Question” lifelines, which enable them to skip over a question, but also require that they forfeit the dollar amount attached to that question. The third lifeline is the classic “Ask The Audience,” which has been part of the show since its 1999 U.S. primetime inception, and enables a contestant to seek the advice of the studio audience for help on any question.
Meredith Vieira has hosted the daytime version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” since the show debuted in 2002. Her career in broadcasting has spanned 35 years, with prominent roles in both news and entertainment including TODAY, The View, Turning Point, 60 Minutes and West 57th. Vieira is a multi Emmy Award-winner and has won two Daytime Emmys for her work on Millionaire (2005 and 2009). Throughout her nine seasons on the show, Vieira has hosted over 1,500 episodes and handed out nearly $65 million in winnings to Millionaire contestants. Millionaire is produced by Valleycrest Productions Ltd. and is distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. Rich Sirop is the executive producer. In addition to serving as the host of the show, Meredith Vieira serves as co-executive producer. Visit Millionaire’s website at MillionaireTV.com.