When in need turn to Reege.
ABC did when they needed a host for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” and now CBS has followed suit turning to the king of daytime talk to inject star power into their new primetime game show “Million Dollar Password.”
The series debuted on Sunday and delivered solid ratings. Make that king-sized ratings. According to Nielsen, Sunday night’s premiere of “Million Dollar Password” was the highest rated show in its timeslot.
And Regis Philbin is taking all the credit.
The 76-year-old charmer doesn’t do much on the show, but that’s what makes him so good. He does what an outstanding host should-—allow the celebrity contestants and their civilian partners enthusiastically vie for a million bucks.
I admit; I did catch the last 15 minutes of the celebrity-infused game show (Sunday night’s episode starred Neil Patrick Harris and Rachael Ray) and it was quite entertaining. (Future big name contestants include Betty White, Rosie O’Donnell and Steven Weber.)
As entertiaining as Philbin’s last venture in game show hosting? I would say so, but the numbers “Password” pulled in were only 42% of the summer 1999 average of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” the game show that revived ABC and Philbin.
Philbin maintains (only half jokingly) that he was the reason for Millionaire’s enormous success. And as for his brief venture back to primetime in 2006 with “America’s Got Talent,” well, Reege insists that gig was more of a favor to show producers than anything else.
Regardless of the televised talent show’s success (or lack thereof), Philbin is still the king and now he’ll have yet another venue to brag about his title.
Kelly Ripa’s better (on-air) half will be receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences during the upcoming 35th annual Daytime Emmy Awards, which airs later this month on ABC.
The “Live With Regis and Kelly” host will be saluted by a slew of stars from all over Tinseltown and if he’s really lucky his show might score some hardware at the annual awards show too.