In honor of the programming phenomenon that invigorated the network’s schedule and reduced its ratings to rubble, ABC will bring “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” back to primetime this August.
ABC announced on Wednesday (April 22) that Regis Philbin and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” will return to primetime on Sunday, Aug. 9. The show will air for 11 nights, Sunday-Thursday in the 8 p.m. hour, with the finale on Sunday, Aug. 23.
“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” premiered on Aug. 16, 1999. The show’s popularity increased and exploded and by its peak, ABC was airing “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” four nights a week and the other networks were bringing up less memorable game show knock-offs like “Greed,” Twenty-One,” “The Weakest Link” and “The Chair.”
Not surprisingly, though, when the show’s popularity waned, it left ABC’s schedule decimated. That, in turn, left ABC with a creative environment open to landmark shows like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives.”