Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (song) - History

History

The format of the show was devised by David Briggs, who, along with Steven Knight and Mike Whitehill, devised a number of the promotional games for Chris Tarrant's breakfast show on Capital FM radio, such as the bong game. The original working title for the show was Cash Mountain. The original British version, hosted by Tarrant, debuted on the ITV network on September 4, 1998.

The game has similarities with the 1950s show The $64,000 Question. In that show, the money won roughly doubled with each question; if a wrong answer was given, the money was lost. Contestants would win a new car as a consolation prize if they had reached the $8,000 question. In 1999-2000, the US version of Millionaire was the first primetime game show since The $64,000 Question to finish first in the season-ending Nielsen ratings.

In the 1990s, the U.S. Millionaire's future executive producer, Michael Davies, attempted to revive the long-lost U.S. game show The $64,000 Question for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) as The $640,000 Question, before abandoning that effort in favor of adapting Millionaire to America.

The title of the show is derived from a song of the same title, written by Cole Porter for the 1956 film High Society, in which it was sung by Frank Sinatra and Celeste Holm.

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