We start this
podcast with the huge news that ABC dropped via press release
regarding Millionaire. There are a few new ways to get on to the
July/August tapings of the 10th Anniversary of Millionaire. Of
course, there are a few caveats. Would-be contestants can use more
than one method to try to get on the show but will only be selected
one time. No former "Hot Seat" players are eligible and you must be
at least 18 years old, a legal U.S. resident and meet all
First off, ABC smartly included the
phone game as a way to get on the show. The game works like this:
The number will be 1-800-999-7878.
Phone lines are open for 10 contest days from 7 p.m. ET to 3 a.m.
ET, starting at 7 p.m. on July 6th and ending at 3 a.m. ET on July
16th. Call the 800 number and attempt to answer general knowledge
questions by putting the 4 answer choices in correct order. People
who correctly answer all 5 questions will select one of the 6
available tape dates. A random drawing will be held from among all
the people who selected the same tape date to receive an eligibility
call to qualify to become a finalist on the program. If a person
meets all eligibility requirements they will be flown to New York
City with a companion for the opportunity for the chance to play in
the hot seat.
Call Limit: One call per person per contest day. Also, a computer
game has been established for persons who have a physical disability
that prevents them from using a telephone to participate in the
Phone Game. Go to www.abc.com keyword Millionaire for details.
Secondly, we have a video submission
contest. From now until 3 a.m. ET on July 16, people can submit a
2-minute video explaining why they would make a good contestant and
what they would do with the $1 million. The Producer will select
people from among all videos submitted to advance to an online test,
which is held July 17. Producer will select from among those who
received a passing score on the online test to receive an
Eligibility Call to qualify to become a finalist on the program. If
a person meets all eligibility requirements they will be flown to
New York City with a companion for the opportunity for the chance to
play in the hot seat. People can go to www.abc.com keyword
Millionaire to submit videos.
Thirdly and lastly, we have auditions in
New York City. Go to millionairetv.com for details.
Now if you were in the hot seat like me,
ABC wants you to attend a show. This was from a Facebook message
from Millionaire audience coordinator Adam Nechamkin: Regis Philbin
will be returning for a limited amount of shows to celebrate the
10th anniversary of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. I'm the Audience
Coordinator for the show and for 3 of the prime time shows with
Regis, we're trying to have the audience full of former contestants.
If you were ever in the hot seat and are interested in being a part
of the studio audience please contact me at 212-456-3883.
So we have the phone game, video
submissions and auditions. I plan to be in the audience for one of
the shows, and I hope some of my fellow Hot Seaters will be there
We lost Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and
Michael Jackson last week. But in the celebrity world, Death has
been working overtime. I usually put the condolences in the end of
the column but there has been enough deaths in the past week related
to game shows that we have a special section.
First off we have Karl Malden who died
on July 1 at the age of 97. An incredibly accomplished actor, he
appeared as a guest on "What's My Line?" in 1970 and "The Movie
Game" in 1971.
Next we go to the UK as actress Mollie
Sudgen died at 86. Most British Comedy fans know her as Mrs.
Slocombe from "Are You Being Served". She was the face of "Mrs.
White" on the short-lived British game show adaptation of "Cluedo"
Fred Travalena is next on the list. He
died at 66 on June 28th after a long, seven year battle with
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He was a frequent game show panelist on
games such as Match Game. A multi-talented impressionist, he also
hosted a hidden camera game show called Anything for Money.
Ken Roberts almost made it to 100! He
was 99 years old when he died. A radio announcer of shows like "The
Shadow" and "The Mercury Radio Theater", he also announced "Make Me
Laugh" and "Chance of a Lifetime"..
Finally we have Gail Storm of "My Little
Margie" who died at the age of 87. While on that show, she appeared
on "The Movie Game", "What's My Line?", and "You Don't Say".
Let us take a moment to reflect on
these wonderful talents who are no longer with us.
Finally, we might have our Susan Boyle.
At least some of the media thinks that he is. The he in question is
35 year old Kevin Skinner. He is an unemployed chicken catcher from
Mayfield, Kentucky. He impressed judges with his performance of
Garth Brooks's "If Tomorrow Never Comes".
How does he compare to Susan Boyle? He
never performed on a stage before his debut on TV Tuesday night. He
had never been on a plane either before he auditioned in Los Angeles
According to the New York Post, he drew
incredulous looks from the judges and laughs from the audience when
he said he used to work as a "chicken catcher." His seedy look,
backwards cap and backwoods accent drew scorn and laughs as well.
But Piers Morgan's attitude changed quickly, along with the audience
who gave him a standing ovation.
"There's a moment in every season, I can
remember them all, where somebody comes onstage, dressed like you
are and your cap's on the wrong way round, and we're all like, 'This
is going to be a total car crash.' Then you start to sing, and
within about 20 seconds, you have me and, by the end of it, that was
one of the most emotional, powerful performances I've seen in a long
Will he win? Is he the next Susan Boyle?
Time will tell.
Block Party Quick Hits time:
--12 out of the 13 Big Brother
Houseguests have been announced. 3 are married, and none are over
the age of 41. The theme will be "Kicking It Old School" with
cliques like "popular, athletes, brainiacs and off beats"
And the Big Brother house has
been "transformed into a mean, green, eco-friendly living machine
according to CBS which added the interior walls are covered with a
reconstituted wood panel product made from re-claimed wood flakes,
thus reducing the amount of lumber used to build the house. In
addition, the houseguests "will be made fully aware of the amount of
waste they create" throughout the eleventh season and will be asked
to recycle and place all food items in an outdoor manual compost
center or indoor automatic composter.
--Paula Abdul guests on "Drop Dead Diva"
--Blake Lewis drops his 2nd CD
"Heartbreak and Vinyl" on October 6. He is moving to a more dance
--Bravo is casting for an "untitled Art
Project" looking for the latest starving artist. They will compete
for a gallery show, a cash prize and a sponsored national tour.
Magical Elves will produce.
--Graham Norton will host "Most Popular"
for Lifetime on July 19th.
--Lets Make A Deal shoots a pilot in Los
Angeles on July 6 and July 8th.
--"There Goes The Neighborhood"
(formerly known as Block Party) debuts August 9th on CBS with Matt
Rogers of American Idol as host.
--"Making Waves: The Stories of Maine's
Bob Crowley" is coming out soon and is a book of stories about Maine
from Survivor Winner Bob Crowley's point of view.
--Melissa Rycroft is engaged. So is Ace
Young of American Idol.
--Get Well wishes go out to Len Goodman
who had a cancerous tumor removed from his prostate gland. His
cancer was discovered in March, and the surgery was done right after
the May ending of Dancing with the Stars.
--WWE stars John Morrison and Michelle
McCool tape appearances on "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader"
Jason Block still wants to be a
millionaire. E-mail him at