Meredith Vieira, former longtime host of the syndicated Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, has been tapped to host and produce 25 Words or Less, a new celebrity/civilian game show that is getting a three-week summer trial run on several Fox Television stations. Set to debut August 6, the half-hour show has a strong celebrity backing: It’s a collaboration of Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky, Mary McCormack, Michael Morris, Bruce Sterten — creator of the board games 25 Words or Less and Taboo — and John Quinn, who serves as showrunner.
“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, EVP Programming and Development at Fox TV 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.”
25 Words or Less pits two teams comprised of celebrities and civilians against each other in a fast-paced word game with a top prize of $10,000. In the beginning rounds of the game, after a frenzied bidding session, one team member provides clues to two partners to help them 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 partners to guess 10 words using only 25 words or less
“I’m so excited to host this game,” Vieira said. “It’s fun, fast and forces contestants to choose their words carefully. Add in celebrities, you’ve got a party!”
25 Words or Less will air on Fox-owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Orlando and Charlotte. This is the second consecutive year that the Fox Stations are testing game show formats over the summer, following IWitness and Punchline, which had limited runs last year.
“This show started its life as a game we played in our living room with our best friends, and that’s the spirit we’ve all tried to capture,” said executive producers Mary McCormack and Michael Morris. “Meredith is like the friend we always wanted in our living room with us. She’s warm, funny, whip-smart and so talented.”
Added executive producers Kudrow and Bucatinsky: “We’ve always been big fans of Meredith Vieira and her ability to bring a sense of fun into all that she’s done. We are so excited to have her playing with us on 25 Words or Less.”
Vieira. a 14-time Emmy-winning host, most recently served as co-host of PBS and BBC’s Royal Wedding Watch and currently host the PBS series The Great American Read. She hosted and served as executive producer on her own nationally syndicated daytime talk show, The Meredith Vieira Show, which ran for two seasons, and previously hosted/co-hosted Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Today and The View. She’s repped by ICM Partners.