Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (I) (1999–2002)

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Contestants, selected by calling a phone number, are chosen based on their ability to arrange 4 answers to a question in the correct order the fastest. They then have to answer 15 ... See full summary »

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Title: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1999–2002)

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Season:

4 | 1 | unknown

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2009 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999
18 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Himself - Host (20 episodes, 1999-2009)
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Storyline

Contestants, selected by calling a phone number, are chosen based on their ability to arrange 4 answers to a question in the correct order the fastest. They then have to answer 15 multiple-choice questions correctly to win increasing amounts of money, the largest of which is $1,000,000. They can choose to use three "lifelines": 50/50: two incorrect answers are eliminated; Ask the audience: the studio audience votes on the correct answer; and phone a friend: they can call one of 5 pre-arranged friends who can help with the answer. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Game-Show

Certificate:

TV-G
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Release Date:

16 August 1999 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Carpenter, the first million-dollar winner, got all the way to the final question without using any "lifelines." The question was, "Who was the only U.S. President to appear on 'Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in'?" When Regis Philbin asked him the question, John decided to call his father for the "phone-a-friend" lifeline. Instead of asking his father for help, he told him "Um...I don't really need your help. I just wanted to let you know that I'm going to win the million dollars." See more »

Quotes

Regis Philbin: From New York, everybody, good night!
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Connections

Version of Die Millionenshow (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Arguably the Greatest Gameshow Ever Made.
15 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Who Wants to be a Millionaire, in my opinion, is one of the two greatest gameshows ever made, the other being Jeopardy. The premise is simple enough: a single contestant must answer 15 questions of continuing difficulty to win $1,000,000. Along the way they can use several life-lines to help them out.

Regis Philban makes the perfect host. He's non-obtrusive, but personable when he does get involved. He doesn't play at cheap unfunny jokes like Cash Cab's Ben Bailey, he doesn't have Ben Stein's annoying nasally voice, and he has more substance than The World Series of Pop Culture's Pat Kiernan.

The trivia varies, from extremely simple to extremely difficult. This assures that a viewer will at least be able to answer correctly, at least occasionally. And, being general-knowledge, there's something for everybody.

Most shows have far too much overblown melodrama that detracts from the show. Who Wants to be a Millionaire has unquestionably the most melodrama of any show I've yet seen, and yet it somehow works exclusively to its advantaged. Everything from the lighting to the music adds to this, even Philban himself. It's a show that has substance to it, some thick tangible feeling that makes the drama work. Everywhere else it always feels so contrived, but here it's a natural and necessary part of the show, and therein lies the difference.


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