UPDATE: Meredith Vieira to Leave “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” After 11 Seasons
UPDATE: 2:10 PM ET – Extended comment from Meredith Vieira has been received.
After hosting the syndicated version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for eleven years, Meredith Vieira will be leaving the game show. The AP bulletin from which the news was received cites a source claiming that Vieira will be freeing up more time to work on other projects, such as more NBC News ventures and a dedicated YouTube channel focusing on life stories. She told Brian Stelter, reporter for The New York Times, “I am about to embark on a new adventure with NBC and I have a digital venture which will be announced shortly. This just seemed like the right time to make the move.” Vieira has already taped all of season 11, with production wrapping in November. News agency Reuters has received comment from a spokesperson for the Disney/ABC Television Group, the distributor of the program: “It’s the final year of Meredith’s contract. She has chosen to move on and pursue other opportunities. We are searching for a new host.”
New episodes with Meredith at the helm are scheduled to air until the end of Spring 2013. She began hosting Millionaire in September 2002, after ABC canceled the primetime program with Regis Philbin and it moved into first-run syndication. At the end of this season, she will have hosted nearly 2,000 episodes of the trivia program. Meredith Vieira has won two Daytime Emmys for her work on the show, in 2005 and 2009. An official public announcement of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire‘s renewal for the 2013-14 television season has yet to occur, however, the spokesperson for Disney/ABC Television intimated that a new season will begin in Fall 2013 with a new host taking over.