Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Although the once-hot game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? had lost its luster as a prime-time ABC offering, the producers felt that there was enough life left in the property to warrant a Monday-through-Friday syndicated version. Taking over from the earlier series' host Regis Philbin was Meredith Vieira of The View. To make certain that the series would not be bankrupted after its first week on the air, the questions posed to contestants were considerably harder than those on the prime-time incarnation. Also, the famous "fastest finger" round was eliminated, taking some of the pressure off the contestants when they struggled to come up with answers. The most noteworthy change from the original version was the absence of Regis Philbin's familiar catchphrases: One would never hear Meredith Vieira chime in with the legendary "Is that your final answer?" The syndicated Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? was launched on September 16, 2002.