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Trivia / Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

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  • Adored by the Network: ABC's version.
    • The Nine Network's Australian version is a more reasonable instance; it held the same Monday night timeslot for seven years, and it's been on weekdays at 5:30 since 2009.
    • When GSN acquired the Harrison era of the US Version in December 2017, it was quickly given multiple marathons, and was eventually put on the schedule seven days a week, airing as often as 20 times per week. In July 2018, it was reduced to weekends only, then dropped altogether that October.
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    • Challenge (The UK version of GSN) has always adored reruns of the series since they acquired the broadcast rights to it back in the Early 2000's, under the title of Classic Who Wants to be A Millionaire?. It was originally the most adored show on the channel, until The Chase stole the spotlight in 2017.
  • Banned Episode: The infamous episode of the UK version where Charles Ingram won the top prize by cheating was never broadcast (producers already suspected something was amiss and stopped the £1 million cheque the day after the episode was recorded), although clips were used in documentaries on the scandal. Later, the series's official YouTube channel uploaded the whole ordeal.
  • Bonus Material:
  • Channel Hop: Moved to syndication in 2002 after declining ratings on ABC.
  • Colbert Bump: Averted with Slumdog Millionaire. The show's global popularity was largely unaffected by the film.
  • Completely Different Title: For its first and most popular run in Spain, the show was known as "Do you want to be a millionaire? 50 x 15" (for 50 million for 15 right answers). It returned twice later as "Who wants to be a millionaire?"
  • Edited for Syndication: GSN inserted jarring commercial cuts when a contestant departs on Regis-hosted episodes. This is most noticeable by the ending cue still in progress by the time the break ends. On episodes from the syndicated era, the play-along "Question of the Day" feature was edited out, resulting in a very abrupt return from the commercial break that originally featured it.
  • Fan Nickname: The show's name is commonly shortened to Millionaire, including on the show itself. Meredith and every other host through Terry Crews rarely, if ever, said the show's full title. Chris Harrison has occasionally used the full name more than his predecessors, though.
    • "Llama" was a longtime fan term for any question gotten wrong in the first five questions ($100-$1,000 under the original money ladder), named after the losing answer for the first $100 question that a contestant missed.note 
  • I Am Not Spock: Especially during the early 2000s, Regis was so identified with this show that nearly everyone that saw him outside the context of the show couldn't help but ask him "Is that your final answer?" Regis mentioned this numerous times in his autobiography, Who Wants to Be Me? (in one instance, he didn't want to go get his wife popcorn from the theater snack stand because he didn't want to have to deal with the person behind the counter asking: "Is that your final popcorn?!"). The book even featured a comic on the back cover where an unamused Regis is asked this by everyone, culminating in him snapping by shooting a guy and ending up on death row. What does the last rites priest ask? "Is that your final meal?"
  • Long Runner: The US version lasted 20 years on ABC and syndication combined. The UK version lasted fifteen years and thirty series. Other international versions are also this.
  • Missing Episode:
    • The first US celebrity edition's episodes (where Drew Carey and Rosie O'Donnell won $500,000 each for their charities), and the episode where Ed Toutant returned after a flawed $16,000 question and went on to win a $1,860,000 progressive jackpot, have never been rerun on GSN even though Millionaire reruns are quite common on that network.
    • Tim Shields' return appearance was never televised at all. In his initial appearance he lost on his $16,000 question, but later showed up in the Tournament of Champions special. When Tim made it into the hot seat in the TOC, Regis touched on this saying the production staff didn't have the right answer to his losing $16,000 question either, so they brought him back, and he went on to win $500,000. Highlights were shown of his $125,000, $250,000, and $500,000 questions, but the full game was never aired.note 
    • The infamous Charles Ingram episode of the UK version was pulled both for the investigation, and the fact that it was recorded on September 10th 2001. It would be aired exactly once, in 2003 immediately after a special explaining how the scam apparently went down.
    • A special episode of the US syndicated version featuring a celebrity athlete was pulled from airing due to said athlete making headlines for an anti-doping violation after the episode's taping. A repeat of the season premiere was aired instead. However, the pulled episode eventually aired two years later on GSN.
  • Name's the Same: One contestant on Twins Week early on the Viera version was named Margaret Wade, not to be confused with the Dennis the Menace (US) character of the same name.
  • The Pete Best: Averted. Meredith hosted the show for 11 years versus only 3 for Regis, but the show was at its most popular with Regis at the helm and both Meredith and Regis are known for more than just hosting Millionaire.
  • Recursive Adaptation: The story of the cheating jackpot winner Charles Ingram had a book written on it, Bad Show: The Quiz, The Cough, The Millionaire Major. This was adapted for a stage play titled Quiz: The Musical, which was in turn adapted for a television drama in 2020, for which many scenes from Ingram's episode (amongst others) were adapted shot-for-shot.
  • Science Marches On: A rare example where a game show acknowledged this and had to make up for it. On the episode that aired May 5, 2006, contestant Dante Constable answered the $250,000 question "What element, like water, has an unusual physical property that causes it to expand when it freezes?" with "A: Silicon". He was wrong at the time, as the correct answer was "C: Bismuth", and he left with $25,000. However, he returned to the show on the episode that aired September 19, 2006, when Meredith explained that while C was still correct, it was recently discovered at the time that silicon does the same thing, meaning that there were two correct answers on the question. As a result, the show brought him back, restored his previous progress (including all lifelines used), and placed him as having won $250,000, which he decided to walk away with after being asked his $500,000 question.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: The change to the Super Mix format seemed to be ringing of this, especially considering it followed the victory by Celador International (which created the show) over Disney to the tune of $270 Million regarding royalty fees.
  • Screwed by the Network: ABC's over-milkage of the show eventually led to a drop in the show's popularity and subsequent cancellation. It lived on in syndication for 17 years, but it never was quite the same.
    • Any time GSN acquires reruns of the syndicated version, it doesn't last very long.
  • Short-Lived Big Impact: The ABC version only lasted three seasons, yet its impact on the then-flagging game show industry was massive, as explained by Who Wants to Be "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?".
  • Technology Marches On: Bank cheques were famously used during Chris Tarrant's era. However by the time Jeremy Clarkson took over they had become old-fashioned (prompting Clarkson to ask his very first contestant if he remembers them). In its place, Clarkson now has a mouse to activate an electronic bank transfer.
  • Vindicated by Reruns: Although the syndicated version was cancelled in 2019, reruns of the final season returned to syndication and The CW Plus in June 2020 in order to quickly replace reruns of recently-cancelled police shows COPS, Live PD: Police Patrol, and Sheriffs: El Dorado County. Millionaire was the recommended replacement choice by Disney, which owns syndication rights for the show as well as Cops, the most popular of the three police programs.
  • What Could Have Been: Before the ABC version began production, Peter Jennings (longtime anchor for ABC's World News Tonight), Bob Costas, Phil Donahue and Montel Williams were all considered before Regis was chosen.
    • The project initially began as a revival attempt for The $64,000 Question, before producer Michael Davies saw the British version of Millionaire and instead chose to remake it for the US. (CBS and Dick Clark Productions produced a pilot for a $64,000 Question revival hosted by Greg Gumbel in 2000 to ride the wave this show created, but it wasn't picked up.)
    • ABC asked Regis to continue hosting the show when it moved to syndication. He refused, citing the long taping times due to computers going out.
    • Regis briefly considered returning to the show after Meredith left.
    • Rosie O’Donnell was asked to host the syndicated version, but declined almost immediately.
    • The UK version originally featured a 20-question structure, which starting at £5 would have taken the player up to £5,242,880, and other structures — including one where the top prize was over £50,000,000 — were considered.
  • The Wiki Rule: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Wiki.


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