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Who Wants to be a Millionaire With Terry Crews Premieres Sept. 8

Who Wants to be a Millionaire With Terry Crews Premieres Sept. 8

With a new move to Connecticut, a new host in actor and former NFL player Terry Crews, and a few new features, Millionaire is primed and ready for an energy-filled and hopefully money-filled 13th syndicated season, starting on Monday, September 8.

This season will see the debut of a new lifeline called “Plus One,” in which the contestant’s companion seated in the audience can be asked by the contestant to come down to the stage and help answer the question at hand. This lifeline marks the first time that companions have the opportunity to join in the game and help out his or her contestant by talking through and hopefully answering the answer correctly together. It reminds us a lot of Phone a Friend, but without the long distance or the Skype calls.

The “Thousandaire” audience game returns this season, and it’s now joined by two new audience games — “Fastest Feet” and “Team Millionaire.” “Fastest Feet” reminds us a lot of both ye olde Millionaire’s Fastest Finger game and TPiR’s Race Game: it’s a challenge in which four audience members are given themed cards and are tasked with physically putting them into the right order to split a $1,000 prize. And “Team Millionaire” partners two audience members with each other to win up to $1,000. The mini-games are great ways that the production staff have devised in order to get even more winners in between contestants.

Millionaire airs across the country weekdays in national syndication. I’ll be sitting down with new Executive Producer James Rowley this week to talk about the new changes to the season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XXme1JfHJk

(Photo credit: Heidi Gutman/Disney-ABC Domestic TV)

  • CarShark

    I’m finding it hard to get excited about the new season. Not because of Terry Crews, mind you, as I was pleasantly surprised by Cedric the Entertainer’s handling of the show. It’s the obvious cost-cutting measures, from eliminating a jump to moving to Connecticut. The SuperMix format has done a good job of keeping each game from feeling repetitive, and the jumps made the final goal feel within reach in a way that the Clock format didn’t. The Plus One feels like a step back, since it’s just going to be a second person that doesn’t know whatever extremely obscure factoid they put in Round One.

  • Wayne_Stevens

    I’m very excited for it. Cedric was a bad idea from the start. I would’ve never thought of Terry Crews, but the moment that news came out, I thought what a genius choice.

    Once the cameras start rolling, you won’t notice they aren’t in New York. While I never loved the supermix, I never hated it either. I really liked the two jumps, but with the Plus One, which I don’t like, it will be a nice way to attempt to bring back phone a friend, where the friend won’t be searching the internet, and nobody has to worry about sound quality over a mobile phone.

    I still think they should’ve gone the sponsor route and give a lifeline called “google it”. I bet most contestants couldn’t find the answer in 30 seconds or less online, and it would be interesting to see some try.

  • Joe Birdsong

    The video preview they released looks pretty good. The set looks more polished. The last set’s big issue was the audience behind the contestant in the shot. It never really looked too in sync with the rest of the set. The stairs awkwardly ended, and they tried to disguise it with more light up panels. Everyone was way too lit. You could even see the curtain behind the stands. It looks like they had the chance to address those issues, so everything should glow great.

    I think Terry Crews will be fantastic. He’s instantly likable, and really get energy going… but he can also do intensity, which will be great in classic millionaire. I hope he’s there for a good long while.

    My only hope for the new season is they make the set darker for classic millionaire. In the early days the set got darker with each passing question in the last tier. The million dollar question was essentially just two spotlights. Ever since the set got upgraded to LED side panels, they’ve been eager to use them at full brightness. Plus with the supermix format, classic millionaire seems to have one light scheme for all four questions…. which isn’t classic at all.

    I’d just like them to return to those days when the set was a psychological weapon and cranked up the intensity for the contestant. That’s really what sets the show apart from every other show in daytime.

  • TheOriginalDonald

    You don’t live in Connecticut, do you?

  • CarShark

    I’m sure that Connecticut can be an expensive place to live, but they are famous for giving various incentives to entice production companies to operate there.

  • pacdude

    You know TV production is a business right, and the goal of business is to make a product at the lowest possible cost?

  • CarShark

    Stop talking down to me. I understand that there are budgetary concerns. I’m saying that they have gone too far with them. Plus, you’re wrong about the goal. It isn’t just about getting the lowest price. It’s about putting out a product that the audience likes. The show has been failing at that, and my belief is that Millionaire is being hurt by the fact that it hasn’t had a legit winner in over a decade, and big winners are too few and too far in-between. This show became popular because people liked the drama in seeing people risking huge amounts in the top tier, and that’s something that only happens a handful of times in a long season.

  • Brandon Taylor

    Ah, the “Plus One” lifeline… It sort of reminds me of the “Second Chance” game-changer on Maury Povich’s “Twenty One” (which David Legler and his father used REALLY well, I might add!).

  • antonspivack

    In a few countries, they still had Phone a Friend, only the friend would be isolated backstage. Also, I disagree with allowing the players 30 seconds to google the answer, as it defeats the purpose of the game to look up the answer instead of actually knowing it.

  • Wayne_Stevens

    Then I guess PAF and JTQ also defeats the purpose of the game since the contestant wouldn’t actually know the answer.

  • antonspivack

    Passing a question is one thing, looking it up instead of recalling it from memory is something else entirely. The $64,000 Question would allow an expert in the booth with the contestant, yet that’s not the same as googling the answer.

  • antonspivack

    Passing a question is one thing, looking it up instead of recalling it from memory is something else entirely. The $64,000 Question would allow an expert in the booth with the contestant, yet that’s not the same as googling the answer.

  • Wayne_Stevens

    In both cases, the contestant did not “actually know the answer”, which as you put it is “the purpose of the game”.

  • antonspivack

    I still say that using a word search to find the answer crosses the line as cheating. I’m reminded of the Simpsons episode where Bart gets a tech-savvy substitute teacher who chides Martin for taking the time to learn the answer to a question instead of looking it up online.

  • Wayne_Stevens

    It wouldn’t be cheating if it was a lifeline, it would be part of the rules.

  • antonspivack

    Maybe it wouldn’t constitute cheating, but allowing players to look up the answer, even in a short amount of time, would take all the challenge out of the game.

  • antonspivack

    Maybe it wouldn’t constitute cheating, but allowing players to look up the answer, even in a short amount of time, would take all the challenge out of the game.

  • Wayne_Stevens

    how does jump the question not take out this challenge?

  • antonspivack

    If we allowed players to google the answer, it wouldn’t be a test of knowledge, but a test of word search. Human ability would be replaced by technology. Jump the question does not do this, rather it is more like passing if stumped, which is common on game shows.

  • Wayne_Stevens

    Allowing a player to jump is not a test of knowledge either. At least with 30 seconds of Google, the contestant must still answer the question, and their knowledge of how to use a search engine is tested.

    What is it you want, do you want a challenge and test of knowledge (which answering the question certainly provides); or do you want a player to jump a question, which provides no test of any type of knowledge other than the ability to say, “I don’t know.”

    Now keep in mind, I’ve never said they really should use 30 Seconds of Google, I’ve only said I was surprised they didn’t go with a sponsored route such as this considering all the budget cuts. Plus, I would suspect most contestants don’t have the skill to find the answer to all but the easier questions in 30 seconds or less anyway.

  • antonspivack

    What I want is for players to answer the question without relying on the internet, and so I don’t think that there should be a lifeline called “google it” or anything like that. And I would prefer if they replaced the jump with 50:50, still I don’t think that passing one question is the same as using word search.