Meredith Vieira to Host '25 Words or Less'
Meredith Vieira will host the Fox Television Stations’ limited run of game show 25 Words or Less, which will debut Aug. 6 and air for three weeks on Fox’s stations in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Orlando, and Charlotte, N.C. Should the show perform well, it could be taken into national distribution for fall 2019.
"The most popular game shows are often defined by their iconic hosts. That's why we are so excited to have Meredith host 25 Words or Less,” said Stephen Brown, executive VP of programming and development, Fox Television Stations. “As host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Meredith became the longest-standing female game-show host in history. In everything she does, she brings humor, intelligence and an overall sense of fun that we think will make this a great game show series."
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Vieira is returning to game shows after departing Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2013 to star in her eponymous syndicated talk show. That program, produced by NBCUniversal, aired from 2014 to 2016.
“I’m so excited to host this game. It’s fun, fast, and forces contestants to choose their words carefully. Add in celebrities, you’ve got a party!” said Vieira in a statement.
The game 25 Words or Less, created by Bruce Sterten, pits two teams of celebrities and civilians against each other to play a word game with a top prize of $10,000. In the beginning rounds of the game, players participate in a frenzied bidding session to determine how many words they will get to use to help their teams guess a list of five words using fewer than 25 clue 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 is executive produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky through their Is or Isn’t Entertainment banner. Mary McCormack and Michael Morris also executive produce along with showrunner John Quinn and Sterten. Vieira will serve as a producer on the program.
Vieira recently co-hosted PBS' and BBC’s Royal Wedding Watch with Matt Baker and is currently hosting PBS’ The Great American Read.
From 1997 to 2006, Vieira was moderator of ABC’s The View, departing that show to co-host NBC’s Today from 2006 to 2011. She also helped cover both the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio for NBC. Early in her career, she spent a decade at CBS News on such programs as 60 Minutes and West 57th.
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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.