Quite some fuss being made over the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” clip currently getting lots of play on YouTube, in which Meredith Vieira refers to herself as a “horny old woman” as she blatantly flirts with a Naval officer contestant.
It’s no big deal, assures Meredith. The clip might seem new, she notes, but the fact is it came from an episode of the game show that shot some seven years ago, and has now, she figures, been rerun on The Game Show Network.
She’s hardly upset about the clip flap, figuring, “I’m flattered that some people evidently think I still look as I did seven years ago. I’m going to be 56 years old on December 30.”
She’s also glad the clip has brought added attention to “Millionaire.” “If it means getting more people in the tent, that’s great. Let’s face it, it’s hard to stay alive in syndication,” she adds, referring to the show that begins its “Million Dollar Tournament of Ten” Monday (11/9). “Though I still get my paycheck and as far as I know, things are fine.”
Meredith’s contract as co-host of “Today” expires next year and “Millionaire” the year after that. Thus far, she’s given little thought to renewal.
“I don’t tend to look far ahead, it makes me anxious,” she says. “I use the time to reflect on what I’m doing currently.”
That includes such ‘Today’ plans as the Nov. 18-20 guestings of “Twilight” and “New Moon” stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. Also, the Thanksgiving week performances by Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys and, in her first live TV concert, “Britain’s Got Talent” sensation Susan Boyle.
“I don’t think I could get better than ‘Today,'” she says, “and I love ‘Millionaire.”
TWINKLE LITTLE STAR: Not only will viewers of Lifetime’s “Too Late to Say Goodbye” movie tomorrow (11/7) see Lauren Holly take on Rob Lowe in the true crime murder-mystery thriller drawn from Ann Rule’s best-selling book of the same title, they’ll also get a glimpse of possible future actor Henry Greco, age 5 — a.k.a. Lauren’s youngest son.
“He had a little part in it as one of my children, and it’s started a little career for him,” reports the actress, who now lives in Canada with her investment banker spouse, Francis Greco, and their three adopted boys.
Henry is rarin’ to go as an actor, she acknowledges, but notes with a laugh, “He’s also rarin’ to go to be an NHL star. As long as he loves acting, sure, he can try it. He goes to auditions. He feels really grown up, like it’s something we have in common. He was so good on the set and such a little professional.
“He’s grown up around sets. He was a fixture on ‘NCIS,'” recalls Holly, who informs that Henry’s done local commercials and talk show appearances. “He understands that it’s work and everyone has a job to do. In fact, he was quick to point out that a couple of the other kids maybe weren’t behaving the way they should have.”
Holly, who plays a woman adamant that her late sister would not have killed herself despite what the authorities say, hadn’t worked with Lowe before “Goodbye,” nor did she get a chance to get to know him before shooting began. “I met him the first day of production, but that was okay, because my character is suspicious of his.”
Lowe plays the brother-in-law who may not be quite the upstanding sort he wants people to believe. Interesting role for Rob.
THE VIDEOLAND VIEW: VH1’s pop culture recap show, “Best Week Ever,” has been put on a long hiatus, which has left fans wondering if the show is coming back. Host Paul F. Tompkins tells us he’s definitely out of a job, but he isn’t sure about the future of the show.
“My version of the show with me hosting is not coming back,” says Tompkins. “I had heard rumors that they may be bringing back the old format, but I haven’t heard an official word on that.”
When asked if he would go back to being one of the many on-air contributors if the show returned to its original style, he responds with a big fat NO! “I wouldn’t do it. I’m really proud of the show I did. I can’t go back after having hosted that show to just being one of many people. It would feel like a huge step back.”
However, the stand-up comedian says that won’t be the end of his TV days. “I’d love to get a steady gig hosting a television show again and that’s what I’m working on right now.”
In the meantime, Tompkins is hosting an episode of “Live at Gotham,” airing tonight (11/6) on Comedy Central. The show will feature the stand-up comedy of up and comers Nick Kroll, Eric Krug, Kent Haines, Thai Rivera, Daniel Kilpatrick, and Kumail Nanjiani.
“It was just a ball. It really took me back to the days I started out in standup when I would host the open mics,” he says. “All the comics were great. Nick Kroll is a buddy of mine who is really funny. Thai, who is this young, openly gay comic on there was really polished. You’re definitely going to be hearing from him. This is a great way for these younger comics to get that TV exposure to help bring them to a wider audience.”
CASTING CORNER: Casting is underway for the actress who’ll play intrepid surfer Bethany Hamilton in the movie biography “Soul Surfer,” which is set to roll in January. You’ll recall the story of the young surfing champ who made a remarkable comeback after losing her arm in a near-fatal 2003 shark attack.
Her pluck won her recognition including a Teen Choice Award and an ESPY Award for Best Comeback Athlete of the Year. Obviously, it’s a role that will require some serious physicality.
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster