Millionaire entering syndie sweepstakes

Buena Vista has confirmed its offering a strip version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.

Prospective hosts are still being mulled over for the half-hour syndicated Millionaire, which is currently being shopped to stations for a fall 2002 debut. Apparently, Rosie O'Donnell, once thought to be candidate to steer a Millionaire strip, is more likely to just host Warner Bros.' prospective game show Let's Make a Deal.

As expected, Michael Davies, executive producer of the ABC network version of Millionaire, is "of course" heading up the syndicated series, says a Buena Vista spokesperson.

No clearance information has been revealed yet, but Hearst-Argyle stations and Young Broadcasting stations have expressed interest in the past for the show.

It's been thought that, similar to NBC Enterprises' plan in stripping The Weakest Link, Buena Vista will push to lock up ratings-grabbing access time slots in as many markets as possible for Millionaire. - Susanne Ault