Thursday, January 10, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Meredith Vieira Leaves "Millionaire" After 2012-2013 Season

After hosting Millionaire for more than a decade, Meredith Vieira will be stepping down as the show’s host at the end of this season. The former The View and Today show co-host and Emmy Award-winning game show host decided to leave on her own merit to pursue other endeavors including working on more projects for NBC News. Vieira made the announcement today and plans to launch her own YouTube channel featuring stories on everyday people’s lives, according to an executive who is familiar with Vieira’s plans. 

Vieira became the host of the syndicated version of the long-running game show in September 2002 after the ABC version with host Regis Philbin ended in June of the same year. Since Vieira took over as the host of Millionaire, now in its eleventh season in syndication, she has won two Daytime Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Game Show Host” in 2005 and 2009, becoming the second woman emcee to win this award in that category (second to Betty White for Just Men!) and the first to win more than once. Vieira also serves as the executive producer for Millionaire and has hosted over 2,100 shows during her eleven-year tenure.

I honestly did not see this news coming so soon, but I guess all good things must come to an end. Vieira’s warm and calming presence completely changed the mood of the show’s atmosphere from dark and tense to relaxing and more comforting. Additionally, she did an excellent job of making the contestants feel less nervous while sitting in the Hot Seat by consoling them, whether they answered the first question incorrectly or just cleared the $500,000 question. Meredith Vieira is a wonderful host for the show and she will be missed. She will be a tough act to follow. With that being said, the “million-dollar question” is: Who will take the helm as the host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire next season? We'll find soon enough. Until then, check out some of Meredith Vieira’s most memorable Millionaire moments in the clips below.

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