Meredith Vieira says she shouldn’t be given any credit for the many changes that are being made this season in “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” Vieira, who’s in her ninth season of hosting the daytime syndicated version of the show that returns today (9/13), makes it known, “I don’t make any of the decisions. That’s not my job, but they did run things by me.”
She acknowledges she wasn’t exactly overwhelmed when she first learned of some of the changes (including doing away of the Hot Seat so that she and the contestants stand through the program; a new “Jump the Question” that gives a contestant the chance to skip a question; the fact a contestant never walks away with less than $1,000; and in round two, one only has to answer four questions — valued at $100,000, $250,000, $500,000 and $1,000.000).
My reaction was, ‘But that’s not ‘Millionaire’ and I was told, ‘Play the game and then decide.’ And they were right. There’s a new excitement to the program.”
Those votes of excitement were echoed by former “Millionaire” contestants the show enlisted for run-throughs of the reworked program.
“They loved it,” says Meredith. “So do I.”
She particularly loves the fact that the traditional first five questions have been changed so that there’s now a greater risk and a greater reward at stake. “It’s helped do away with a predictability on the show. It’s really for the best.”