Expect Who Wants to be a Millionaire to be “more energetic, a lot more fun” and have “a lot more excitement – that’s what I plan on bringing to it,” Cedric the Entertainer told TV critics this morning. Cedric’s replacing Meredith Vieira who, in turn replaced Regis Philbin on the ABC-hit-turned-syndicated-daytime-game-show. Vieira announced in January she was leaving Disney’s syndicated game show after 11 years (she’s hosting a syndicated daytime talk show for NBCU that debuts in fall of ’14). Cedric joins a long line of comics hosting game shows, including Steve Harvey, Jeff Foxworthy, Wayne Brady, and Drew Carey. “Those guys motivated me to look at this as a great opportunity…to be a standup, to be engaged with the contestant — to keep the show energetic. That’s what most comedians find attractive about this form of entertainment,” he explained.
Tweaks in the format over the years are responses to contestant patterns, show exec producer Rich Strop explained. After the first five questions, he explained, contestants tend to immediately plow through all their lifelines and then stop playing, because “people are very risk averse.”