Fox TV Stations to Debut '25 Words or Less' This Fall

The Fox Television Stations have picked up game show 25 Words or Less, hosted and produced by Meredith Vieira, for fall 2019, said Frank Cicha, senior VP of programming, Fox TV Stations. 

“We’re pulling for a hit here, because it feels like 25 shows or more since there’s been one in syndication,” said Cicha in a statement.

The half-hour game show ran this summer as a test on the Fox stations and is a collaboration between Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky, Mary McCormack, Michael Morris, show-runner John Quinn, and Bruce Sterten, creator of the “25 Words or Less” and “Taboo” board games. It will be produced by Dino Bones Productions and distributed nationally by Twentieth Television.

“I don’t need 25 words to say how excited I am to host this fabulous game. Everyone will love playing along!” said Vieira in a statement.

In 25 Words or Less, two teams of celebrities and civilians compete against each other to win $10,000. In the beginning rounds, teams bid to determine how many words they will get to use in upcoming clues. Once that number is determined, one team member provides clues to two partners to help them guess a list of five words. In the final round, the contestant who has earned the most points has 60 seconds to get his or her partners to guess 10 words using only 25 words or less.

The show marks Vieira’s return to daytime television. She was the original moderator of ABC’s The View from 1996 to 2006 before moving to NBC’s Today in 2006 and staying until 2011. She also hosted Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire from 2002 to 2013 before starring in a daytime talker for NBCU from 2014 to 2016.

25 Words or Less joins several series preparing to debut this fall, making it the most crowded syndication season in years. With the Fox-owned stations on board, it's cleared in nearly 40% of the country. 

Earlier Monday, NBCUniversal Television Distribution announced that it had cleared Judge Jerry, starring Jerry Springer, in 75% of the country. NBCU also is launching The Kelly Clarkson Show into first-run syndication.

Related: NBCU to Launch 'Judge Jerry,' Starring Jerry Springer, This Fall

Disney-ABC has sold a talk show starring Tamron Hall to the ABC Owned Stations, while Sony and Tribune are partnering on a talker starring motivational speaker Mel Robbins. And CBS Television Distribution and Fox are airing a two-week run of Breakthrough With Dr. Steve Perry in January.

Also in the market is a talk show from Warner Bros. starring RuPaul, and several other projects are in development. 

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.