Hercules had to consult the Delphi Oracle if he wanted to avenge his family's death.
Rocky had to learn to trust Mickey if he wanted to defeat Apollo Creed.
Luke Skywalker had to find Yoda if he wanted to become a Jedi.
So if I wanted to achieve victory over the daunting behemoth of knowledge that is the Jeopardy! contestant test, I, too, would have to find an equally experienced and successful "Yoda" from the game show shire.
In short, Ken Jennings wasn't available but the Mace Windu of the Jeopardy! Council was.
So, when I heard about the changes that were coming to the syndicated Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, I wanted to reserve judgment until I saw them. Now that Meredith Vieira's smiling face has graced my TV for the seventh season opener, I can say that I like most of the changes ... except for one. The new graphics and music are fine, the new lifelines make more sense (more on those in a second). But now there's a clock.
Yeah, you heard me; the show that once let contestants take as much time as they wanted to answer very tough questions now adds the pressure of a time limit. And that's not a good thing.
Mark your calendars kids, or not, Meredith Vieira is heading back to The View, for one day anyway, on October 8th. She'll be there to promote her Who Wants To Be A Millionaire game show and a DVD game that is coming out based on the show. I always seem to forget that she even does that because, man, I just don't get the attraction to Millionaire. It's just so dang slow. How that show made it while Beat The Geeks disappeared just boggles me.
Anyway, I suspect it will be all warm and fuzzy with a lot of palms getting sore as the whole group pats each other on the back for all the wonderfulness they are all putting out in the world, or something like that. An entirely different vibe than what we would get if this headline was Rosie returning to the view. Or even Star Jones, for that matter.
(Actually, I don't think the beer company owns the records company anymore. Still love that beer. Mmm... beer...)
Anyway, recently, the Guinness World Records folks honored Japanese TV personality Norio Minorikawa, better known as Mino Monta -- as the record holder for most live hours on TV in one week. According to the organization's web site, Mino Monta puts in 21 hours and 42 minutes of live television per week, including the hosting job on the Japanese version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. He also hosts 11 other live shows, ranging from a wildlife show to a health and fitness show.
Mino Monta averages 3 hours of TV per day, seven days a week. Regis Philbin and Don Francisco are slackers compared to this guy.
When the spokeswoman says "a few days," she means a few days of production; because up to five episodes can be taped a day, that means the guest hosts might host in one-week blocks. No real word on who the celebrities are or when their episodes will air. Judging by Vieira's taping schedule, in which the entire season will be completed by December, those weeks could air anywhere.
Think Regis might show up? I wouldn't mind seeing him in his old chair for a week.
The story also says that the "contract will expire in a few days." Does anyone know what that means? Do they mean the contract for Millionaire or the contract to make a documentary about Millionaire?
[via TV Tattle]
WTF? During the nighttime Millionaire, contestants routinely blew past the $32k question and only started to have trouble afterwards. Many walked away with a six-figure prize. But in the daytime version, that is a rare occurrence. In fact, many walk away with as little as $1,000.
I could chalk it up to the producers creating harder questions due to a lower prize budget or simply because they produce more shows and want to spread out the big payouts. But some of these contestants... I'm not so sure about them. One today had to ask the audience on a $1,000 question asking about a book retailer that was founded in the 1920's. The answer was "The Book-of-the-Month Club." The other choices? "The Book-of-the-Day Club," "The Book-of-the-Week Club," and "The Book-of-the-Year Club." Whew. Really tough choice there.
Last week, dear brother Joel (really, he's my brother, except I'm prettier) asked you, the beautiful TV Squad readers, if Meredith Vieira could be taken seriously as both the host of both Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Today. Some of you said there was no problem with Vieira's credibility; others said it should be one or the other.
Well, folks, lovely Meredith is not the first person to do double-duty as both a game show host and a news personality. As Joel stated in his post, Joe Garagiola hosted and was a panelist on a number of game shows while on Today. However, he is a recent example. Truth be known, during the early days of television news people regularly double-dipped between one format and another without a complaint.
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