The J-TAC (Stephenville, Tex.), Vol. 159, No. 1, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 27, 2000 Page: 7 of 12
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January 27, 1999
Intelligent new game show helps bond
family and bridges the generation gap
By Justin Taylor
Did you find it slightly odd that you and your
parents were watching the same thing over
Christmas break? Or maybe you received a call
from a friend, telling you how much of an idiot
thai person on the television was for missing the
question. "Jack Horner pulled out a PLUM, not a
blackbird- Man,1 swear."
If this was you, you are not alone. Fact be
known, millions have joined you, testing their
intellect versus one Regis Philbin and a person
with 3 life lines. It's "Who wants to be a million-
aire?" on ABC. This show has people going
I suppose its appeal is its tangibility. From col-
lege students to the elderly, everyone has had a
shot at the millions. And most have screwed up.
Yet there are some winners, who we "ooh and
ahh," marvelling over them in daily conversa-
tions. Maybe not marvel, but they do come up in
conversation from time to time.
It's a simple scenario. Be the fastest person to
answer the question correctly, and you move to
the hot seat.
Answer ten questions with an opportunity to
get help three times and win a million dollars.
Simple right? Heh, wrong.
The questions get harder with each jump and
each doubling of the money. And with that
increase of difficulty comes pressure, The talking
to yourself and to the host. Regis can't help too
much, only smile and ask "is that your final
There's an audible nervousness as a contestant
tries to remember what color acidic litmus paper
People eat it up, because they could see them-
selves winning the money, or missing the ques-
tion completely. ABC is loving it.
For instance, the Jan. 20 "Millionaire" episode
led ABC to its first Thursday total viewer tru-
imph since "The Stand part 4" in May of 1994.
In that one hour time span, 9-10 p.m., the
show brought in 32.46 million viewers, making it
the second-most-watched primetime telecast of
NBC and other television stations are scram-
bling to get games of their own. Lik e the game
show Greed on Fox.
Honestly though, they don't hold the charm
and personality of Regis or the flashing lights
and annoying music that "Who Wants to be a
Millionaire?" offers. The show is truely an expe-
rience and I whole-heartedly admit my
addiction to the hour long show. And ABC has
accommodated me by expanding its coverage.
Its television intensity.
Even the web site gets intense traffic. At
www.abc.go.com/primetime/millionaire, a web-
surfer can play the game "Who wants to be a
millionaire?" or check the many message boards
dedicated to the many questions the game show
There are hints, and even live video clips of
the people who have won a million dollars.
If you haven't checked out the show, check the
local listings and prepare to rack your brain over
the stupid things said, or the questions you just
Better yet - get some friends together and
laugh at each other.
Something you want to
see on The Pulse?
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The J-TAC (Stephenville, Tex.), Vol. 159, No. 1, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 27, 2000, newspaper, January 27, 2000; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth141968/m1/7/: accessed April 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Tarleton State University.