Home #Hwoodtimes “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Turns 20; E! Orders Reality Sitcom...

“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Turns 20; E! Orders Reality Sitcom “Meet the Frasers”

Logo for column
Programming Insider Byline

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) August 16, 2019 – ON THIS DAY“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” debuted on ABC with host Regis Philbin in 1999 in a two-week summer window but returned on January 8, 2000 as a regularly scheduled series. The recent syndicated daytime version of the game show was hosted by Chris Harrison. For more on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?,” click here…Celebrity Birthdays: Kathie Lee Gifford is 66; director James Cameron (“Titanic”) is 65; Madonna is 61; Oscar nominated actress Angela Bassett is also 61; “The Office” star Steve Carell is 57.

-Did You Know?:
At the height of its popularity, ABC was airing “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” five nights per week, which led to a quick burnout. Looking for their own primetime game show hits, NBC revived “Twenty One,” with host Maury Povich; Fox introduced “Greed” and “It’s Your Chance of a Lifetime, and CBS presented “Winning Lines, hosted by Dick Clark. All these years later, and I still personally feel the need for “Greed!

RATINGS BOX                                                            
Thursday 8/15/19

Household Rating/Share
CBS: 2.6/ 5, Fox: 2.1/ 4, NBC: 2.0/ 4, ABC: 1.5/ 3, CW: 0.5/ 1

Note: Percent change versus the year-ago week is not available.

Ratings Breakdown:
The live eviction episode of CBS’ “Big Brother” led the night with a 2.8 rating/5 share in the household overnights at 9 p.m. ET, which should indicate there is not much to say on this third Thursday in August.

In series-finale news, CBS crime solver “Elementary” concluded its moderately rated six season run with a 2.4/ 5 at 10 p.m. (#1), which easily bested competing ABC drama “Reef Break” (#3: 1.4/ 3). Also concluding for the season (or, more likely, series as well) was ABC competition series “Family Food Fight” at a fourth-place 1.3/ 2 at 9 p.m. Comparably, that was 32 percent below lead-in “Holy Moley” (#4: 1.9/ 3 at 8 p.m.).

For the remainder of the overnight analysis plus the half-hour breakdown for Thursday, August 15, click here

Live+7 Day Ratings – Week of July 29: Click here

Source: Nielsen Media Research


E! Orders Reality Sitcom “Meet the Frasers”
E! Entertainment has ordered half-hour reality sitcom “Meet the Frasers,” produced by MGM’s Evolution Media, for 2020. The series will follow the lives of 28-year-old psychic medium Matt Fraser and his pageant queen girlfriend, 21-year-old Alexa Papigiotis, and their very involved extended families in Cranston, Rhode Island.

The logline: As Cranston’s emerging golden couple, the duo is recognized everywhere from their local Italian restaurant to the latest stop on Matt’s coast to coast tour. It doesn’t hurt that they’re often seen in an SUV branded with Matt’s face and name.   This twosome is climbing their way to the top, with the biggest challenge being the opinionated loved ones who want to have a say in everything they do.

TriStar  Television to Develop “Alpha Girls”
TriStar Television is developing “Alpha Girls,” a Silicon Valley drama series based on Julian Guthrie’s new book, “Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took on Silicon Valley’s Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime.” Alpha Girls” from Crown Publishing Group tells the true story of four women who became stars in the cutthroat, high-stakes and male-dominated world of Silicon Valley, and helped finance and build some of the foremost companies of our time. The story takes readers into the personal lives of the women as they navigate men, money, marriage, kids, cancer, betrayals and power.

There is no outlet attached to the proposed TV series at present.


“Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ Turns 20”
On this day in 1999, a time when the typical network TV series in the summer was a repeat or a leftover, ABC tried something original care of game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” Hosted by  Regis Philbin, who at the time was successfully schmoozing with Kathie Lee Gifford on their syndicated morning talker “Live!,” “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” initially aired in a two-week window on multiple nights in primetime. The format, of course, featured contestants attempting to win a top prize of $1,000,000 by answering a series of multiple-choice questions of increasing difficulty.

After solid sampling at a time when few individuals were watching the broadcasters in the dog days of the summer, ratings rose in each telecast within that initial two-week window. And the result, not surprisingly, was ABC bringing the game show back in the traditional 1999-2000 TV season. By May of 2000, these multiple telecasts of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” held the top 3 spots in all of primetime (pushing former champion “ER” on NBC to the No. 4 spot). For more, click here

“BH90210” Loses Considerable Steam in Week 2 – For more, click here

PI Podcast with Douglas Pucci – Click here

TV Predictions: Looking Into the Crystal Ball – Click here

Five Questions With Jonathan Bennett Of “Celebrity Big Brother” – Click here

Linear or Digital…or Both – Click here


2019 Little League Baseball World Series Schedule on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 – Click here

2019 NFL Preseason TV and Announcer Schedule – Click here


Season 13 of “Air Disasters” will open on Smithsonian Channel on Sunday, September 1 at 8 p.m. ET. The logline: In the wake of the world’s deadliest aviation disasters, people always have one question – what happened? Using exclusive eyewitness accounts, archival footage and dramatic reenactments, experts will take viewers to the scene of the crash and uncover the truth behind what went wrong.

Documentary “30 for 30 “Rodman: For Better or Worse,” which chronicles the  story of Dennis Rodman,” will premiere on ESPN on Tuesday, Sept. 10 on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET. The logline: Beginning in Dallas, where Rodman and his family members recall a difficult and often uncomfortable childhood, the film traces his improbable rise from an at times homeless, teenaged airport janitor whose belated, extraordinary growth spurt propels him to small school stardom at Southeastern Oklahoma State, and then to the Detroit Pistons as a second-round NBA draft selection.

Season 2 of the Chuck Lorre sitcom “The Kominsky Method” will be available for streaming on Netflix on Friday, October 25. The logline: Michael Douglas (Kominsky) and Alan Arkin (Newlander) continue their journey as two friends tackling life’s inevitable curveballs as they navigate their later years in Los Angeles, a city that, above all else, values youth. This season, Sandy meets and bonds with his daughter’s new boyfriend (guest star Paul Reiser) who is uncomfortably close to Sandy’s age. Meanwhile, Norman reconnects with an old flame from his youth (guest star Jane Seymour) and after fifty years, they decide to start again. Nancy Travis and Sarah Baker co-star.

Series premieres: “45 rpm,” “Diagnosis,” “Green Frontier” and “Victim Number 8” on Netflix; Season premieres: “Find Me in Paris” on Hulu; “Mindhunter” on Netflix; “Love After Lockup” concludes for the season on WE…For the listing of available programs for Friday, August 16, clickhere