Last week was a busy, busy week for major game show news. Some of the larger headline-worthy news included the first three games of the Jeopardy! Greatest Of All Time Tournament, Pat Sajak’s daughter Maggie Sajak stepping as the substitute letter-turning co-host during Vanna White’s last week hosting Wheel of Fortune, one of the funniest Family Feud fails you will ever see that will completely change how look at Popeye’s chicken and Steve Harvey and Wayne Brady’s 2020 NAACP Image Awards nominations.
Two of the top breaking news headlines from last week was ABC increasing its excellent roster primetime game show revivals after announcing its plans to order reboots of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Supermarket Sweep.
Millionaire Returns For 20th Anniversary With Celebrity Specials
ABC is bringing Millionaire back to network television just in time for the show’s 20th anniversary and is set to premiere Wednesday, April 8. ABC entertainment president Karey Burke announced the show’s return at the TCA Winter Press Tour. Michael Davies will executive produce Millionaire with talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and former EP of The Price Is Right and soon-to-be EP of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! Mike Richards.
This version is hosted Kimmel, former co-host of Comedy Central’s Win Ben Stein’s Money and former host of Set For Life, and has celebrity contestants partnered with their special guests climb the trivia ladder and attempt to win up to $1 million for their respective charities. Home viewers will also have a chance to win the same amount of money as the stars through the show’s live interactive play-along app. This marks the first time Millionaire will air on U.S. television since the 17-year-old syndicated series hosted by Chris Harrison was canceled last year.
The last time ABC celebrated Millionaire was during the summer of 2009 with an 11-episode primetime event in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. More fervent game show fans might recall the week-and-a-half series as one they will never forget for an extended period of time with moments including Regis Philbin returning as the host and amusingly watch him slightly struggle under the much-maligned Clock format, celebrity guests – including Regis – stepping into the Hot Seat answering questions to win $25,000 for their charities and the event ending with Ken Basin infamously becoming the first contestant in the history of the U.S. version of Millionaire to incorrectly answer a million-dollar question.
As a special bonus, take a look at how Jimmy Kimmel fared in his 2001 appearance on Millionaire.
Leslie Jones To Host Supermarket Sweep Revival
ABC has struck a deal with Fremantle to bring Supermarket Sweep back to network television for the first time since the show’s original run on the same network in 1965. The reboot is hosted by SNL alumna Leslie Jones, who will also serve as the executive producer with Hunter Seidman, Jennifer Mullin, Alycia Rossiter and Wes Kauble. The ten-episode season begins production in spring.
It has always been a dream of Jones to be on the iconic and frantic grocery shopping game show. “Seriously, I tried out for the show years ago; and after getting turned away, I knew I’d have to take matters into my own hands,” said Jones. “Being able to bring the iconic game show back to life on ABC is my ultimate redemption story!”
This will mark the third revival of Supermarket Sweep since the show returned in 1990 for five years on Lifetime and in 2000 for four more years on PAX (now Ion Television). Both versions were hosted by David Ruprecht and produced by Al Howard. Similar to ITV and its 2018 Millionaire revival with Jeremy Clarkson, ABC follows in the footsteps of ITV2 as the U.K. channel brought back Supermarket Sweep to its airwaves with host Rylan Clark-Neal earlier last year, as seen in the clip below.
As we have seen with Press Your Luck, Card Sharks, Match Game, The $100,000 Pyramid, To Tell the Truth, Celebrity Family Feud and BattleBots – all which were renewed with the exception for the latter – Millionaire and Supermarket Sweep are in good hands with ABC at the helm.