EXCLUSIVE: ABC’s rebooted Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was one of the last nonscripted shows to finish production before the COVID-19 production shutdown in March.
Host Jimmy Kimmel and the production team shot eight episodes of the game show the weekend of March 14 without an audience to get in under the wire.
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire now is back for a second Kimmel-hosted season on ABC, and Deadline understands the show, which is based on the British format, is back in production as of today.
The show is shooting in Los Angeles with a minimal crew and without an audience. Rigorous health and safety protocols are in place that adhere to all state and local requirements as well as union and industry guidelines for production.
Celebrity contestants, playing for charity, who appeared on the first season of the reboot included Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet, The Last Man on Earth’s Will Forte, Flipped‘s Kaitlin Olson and CNN’s Anderson Cooper. They were handed a new “Ask the Host” lifeline given the lack of an audience.
Season two will also feature frontline workers and others severely affected by COVID-19.
The show is produced by Sony Pictures Television’s Embassy Row, Kimmelot and Disney’s Valleycrest Productions. It is expected to air on Sunday nights as part of ABC’s fall schedule.
Earlier this spring, ABC nonscripted chief Rob Mills told Deadline that he was incredibly pleased with the way the show turned out both creatively and in terms of ratings. “We got in under the wire, and it turned out great,” he said. “When this was originally pitched by Michael Davies, he came in and said this was what it was always meant to be, short-term events that get people excited and it goes away and people miss it.”
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is the latest nonscripted ABC series to return to production following the likes of Ultimate Surfer, Card Sharks, Supermarket Sweep and The Bachelorette.