ABC is gonna tap into our nostalgic side with a special 20th anniversary edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? hosted by the network’s favorite son, Jimmy Kimmel.The news was announced during ABC’s panel at the TCA’s on Wednesday.
So, what do we know so far? Well, the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? special is pegged to the 20th anniversary of the show’s U.S. premiere back in 2000. The series has, historically, had a big name host at the helm, including Regis Philbin and Meredith Vieira. Now, ABC has enlisted one of their biggest, current stars in Kimmel to host a special run of episodes which will feature celebrities playing for charity. As of the TCA’s announcement, we still don’t know which celebrities have signed on for this anniversary edition. In a statement on the show’s return to ABC for the first time since it ended last May, Kimmel quipped about his next gig: “Regis came to me in a dream, asked me to do this and promised my own line of neckties if I did. I had little choice but to say yes.”
ABC also notes in their press release a feature is being added which has never been used during past Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? episodes.
“Celebrities playing on Millionaire can invite a guest in the hot seat to help them answer questions. It could be a relative, a beloved teacher or a famed trivia expert – anyone they want – to help them win as much money as they can for the charity of their choice. Additionally, this special run of shows will be introducing a revolutionary, live, play-along app which will allow America to compete to win the same amount of money that celebrities are playing for on the show.”
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? was originally adapted from the British game show of the same name and debuted on ABC in the summer of 1999 as a special. The show then returned for a brief run from 1999 to 2000 as special events before it was picked up as a regular series. With Philbin recruited to host, the trivia game show became an instant hit. Eventually, things slowed down after its first bursts of success, ultimately running for just three seasons on ABC and returning for specials in 2004 and 2009. Vieira hosted short-lived reboot before stepping down and subsequent hosts Cedric the Entertainer, Terry Crews, and Chris Harrison, coming in to host in that order.
The 20th anniversary edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? will premiere on Wednesday, April 8. For news on what’s happening with ABC’s 2020 TV plans, check out the latest on the Oscars hosting situation and read up on the network’s plans for supernatural drama The Brides.