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About Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (often informally called Millionaire) is an American television game show based on the same-titled British program and developed for the United States by Michael Davies. The show features a quiz competition with contestants attempting to win a top prize of $1,000,000 by answering a series of multiple-choice questions of increasing difficulty (although, for a time, most of the questions were of random difficulty). The program endured as one of the longest-running and most successful international variants in the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? franchise, running continuously in some form since 1999.

The original U.S. version premiered on ABC on August 16, 1999, as part of a two-week daily special event hosted by Regis Philbin. After this and a second two-week event aired in November 1999, ABC commissioned a regular series that launched on January 18, 2000, and ran until June 27, 2002. Philbin hosted the entire run of the original network series as well as three additional special event series that aired on ABC in 2004 and 2009.

A daily version of Millionaire produced for syndication began airing on September 16, 2002, and was initially hosted by Meredith Vieira. Cedric the Entertainer took over the show in 2013 following Vieira's departure, with Terry Crews replacing him in 2014. The syndicated series' final host was Chris Harrison, who took over from Crews in 2015 and hosted until the show was cancelled, with the finale airing on May 31, 2019. On January 8, 2020, seven months after the cancellation was announced, ABC renewed the show for a twenty-first season (consisting of nine episodes) that would be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, who is also a co-executive producer of the show, and feature celebrity contestants; the twenty-first season premiered on April 8, 2020.

As the first U.S. network game show to offer a million-dollar top prize, the show made television history by becoming one of the highest-rated game shows in the history of U.S. television. The U.S. Millionaire won seven Daytime Emmy Awards, and TV Guide ranked it No. 6 in its 2013 list of the 60 greatest game shows of all time.

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