The New Millionaire
Originally posted: October 1, 2010

Text by: Cyndi Seidelman

Millionaire doth returneth from the summer of repeats. It was reported that the show would be undergoing a complete overhaul. When it was revealed what those changes are, most of the game show community was irate at the changes. However, some people actually thought a little highly of the changes and decided to take a wait and see approach to the new regime's way of thinking. After watching a few episodes, I'm in complete agreement with GSNN contributor & $125,000 winner from Millionaire, Jason Block. This new format is utter garbage.

Let's start off with the basic look of Millionaire. Gone is the Hot Seat, Gone is the Square screen that was in between the two audience sections. Instead, the new regime has now changed the set into something completely ripped from Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? It's like they saw that show and asked the set designers, "You see that desk & game board? Make the millionaire set like that and make the set more brighter and vibrant. Now go, I need to find more ways to screw up the show." What was once the pinnacle of great sets & new designs has gone to something completely mediocre looking.

Next up, the music package. The classic cues and theme song are now gone. In its place is high-pitched, syrupy sounding cues that sound like they're played on a 200-level TV channel. So, like the set, the music, which was once thought to be one of the best, is now completely mediocre.

Now, the major change is the Format. Instead of it being the regular, tried and true Millionaire format, instead the show is broken up into 2 rounds. The first round has 10 questions with are shown in a set order. Then in a truly weird move, they not only randomize the question placement, but also the money placement as well. What's the point of that? I'm guessing their thinking is that the people are bored with the normal ladder format, so they are changing it up for some weird reason. What irks me even more is that the lifelines are now gone, save for Ask The Audience. I refuse to call the Jump The Question lifeline a lifeline, it's more like a Greed Freebie or better yet, A Pitfall Pit Pass to skip a section of the game. Round 2 is Classic millionaire, as they put it. So, they have this as a cop-out to the old Millionaire fans by saying, "Hey, we still have your boring old format in our show, so shut the hell up and watch."

Another thing that irks the living daylights out of me is that on the first show of the new format, the first contestant they brought out was putting over this new format like it was the second coming of Jesus. He hasn't played the game yet, and he's shilling it like his life depended on it. GRRRRRR!!!! The reputation of this format isn't much better when Regis Philbin himself said on his talk show that "It isn't Millionaire, It's garbage." When you piss off the original host, that's really bad. To add more crap onto the pile, the second week of shows were all Celebrity shows to raise money for charity. While this isn't a bad idea in theory, it should only be relegated to either Sweeps or during the twilight of the season to help pop a rating, not in week 2 to help further shill the format which is a broken pile of goo that makes you yearn for the Millionaire Rip-off, It's Your Chance of a Lifetime, or better yet, Show Me The Money.

In closing, what has been a great quiz show over the years has degenerated into must-avoid viewing. From it's glory days on ABC with Regis Philbin, to the first couple of seasons in Syndication where the contestants actually knew how to play the game. Then after 4-5 years of stagnation and no $1,000,000 winners, you got the clock, which did little to help the show but send the show into a quicker grave and held a crap tournament to say that "Yes, we gave away a $1,000,000 this year, so shut up about it" in the same vein as Deal or No Deal had 2 of these sorts of the things with the Million Dollar Mission. And now it's taken the turn off the cliff by ripping off 5th Grader in almost every sense except for the fact that Jeff Foxworthy is actually a great emcee and Meredith Viera is now nothing more than a corporate shill. So, avoid at all costs and tell the prats behind the scenes now that you won't watch the show and eat up massive amounts of failure.

Grade: F (as if it wasn't evident already)

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