Cedric The Entertainer is leaving Disney-ABC‘s syndicated game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire after a season as a host. There is no replacement yet though I’ve learned that Terry Crews is in line for the gig. Cedric cited his busy schedule and the show’s move to Connecticut for the decision. “With the many television and film projects that I have going on which shoot and promote in various parts of the country, a production-base in Connecticut would make it quite difficult to maneuver the many moving parts on my plate,” he said in a statement. “So, after much thought and some serious conversations with senior executives at the studio, I decided to let Disney-ABC know that, unfortunately, I’m not able to continue on as host. It has truly been a fantastic ride hosting Millionaire this year — a really great time! Thanks so much to all the fans, contestants, crew, and everyone involved for making it such a fun and gratifying experience. As I always say on the show in parting, ‘Watch your wallet’!” Cedric succeeded original Millionaire syndie host Meredith Vieira, who left last year after 11 seasons. Cedric took over the show last fall, and ratings have been stable with him at the helm.
The CW has tapped Cedric the Entertainer to host the fourth annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards. The awards are set to air live on The CW on at 8 PM ET June 19 from the Beverly Hilton . Cedric The Entertainer hosts the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, which is beginning its 12th season in syndication. He also is the star, co-creator and executive producer of the TV Land comedy The Soul Man, which last night began its third season with a live episode. He next will be seen on the big screen co-starring opposite Marlon Wayans in A Haunted House 2 and recently wrapped a new feature with Chris Rock that’s slated for release in the summer.
Expect Who Wants to be a Millionaire to be “more energetic, a lot more fun” and have “a lot more excitement – that’s what I plan on bringing to it,” Cedric the Entertainer told TV critics this morning. Cedric’s replacing Meredith Vieira who, in turn replaced Regis Philbin on the ABC-hit-turned-syndicated-daytime-game-show. Vieira announced in January she was leaving Disney’s syndicated game show after 11 years (she’s hosting a syndicated daytime talk show for NBCU that debuts in fall of ’14). Cedric joins a long line of comics hosting game shows, including Steve Harvey, Jeff Foxworthy, Wayne Brady, and Drew Carey. “Those guys motivated me to look at this as a great opportunity…to be a standup, to be engaged with the contestant — to keep the show energetic. That’s what most comedians find attractive about this form of entertainment,” he explained.
Tweaks in the format over the years are responses to contestant patterns, show exec producer Rich Strop explained. After the first five questions, he explained, contestants tend to immediately plow through all their lifelines and then stop playing, because “people are very risk averse.”
EXCLUSIVE: Jason Statham stars in the action thriller based on William Goldman’s novel, previously made into a 1986 film starring Burt Reynolds. Statham’s set to play Nick, a gambling addict and ex-mercenary working for hire in Vegas. Filming is underway on Heat in New Orleans and moves soon to Las Vegas. Stanley Tucci, Anne Heche, Cedric the Entertainer, Hope Davis and Milo Ventimiglia have joined Sophia Vergara, Michael Angarano, and Dominik Garcia-Lorido in the cast. Two-time Oscar winner Goldman scripted himself. Simon West (Con Air, The Expendables 2) is directing as Statham makes his producing debut with Steven Chasman for SJ Pictures.
Disney-ABC made the announcement this morning. Stand-up comedian and actor Cedric The Entertainer has been named the new host of the syndicated Who Wants To Be A Millionaire beginning with its 12th season this fall. He succeeds Meredith Vieira, who is departing at the end of this season. “With his deep roots as a successful stand-up comedian and actor, Cedric will bring his fresh approach and unpredictable fun to the show,” said Janice Marinelli, president, Disney-ABC Domestic TV.
CAA-repped Cedric is the second member of The Original Kings Of Comedy stand-up troupe to be recruited to host a syndicated game show, joining Steve Harvey, who has been on Family Feud since 2010.
Cedric The Entertainer To Succeed Meredith Vieira As Host Of Syndicated ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’
Following some chatter during NATPE last week, I have learned that Cedric The Entertainer has closed a three-year deal to replace Meredith Vieira as host the syndicated version of quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. I hear the multi-million pact will pay Cedric close to what Vieira was making in the final years of her 11-season stint on the Disney-ABC show, which she’s hosted from its launch in 2002. Millionaire, which tapes in advance, will continue to air Vieira-hosted originals through May and repeats through the summer, with Cedric expected to take over in September. The Millionaire gig won’t interfere with the actor-comedian’s TV Land comedy series Soul Man, which is slated to begin filming its second season in March. Cedric will shoot his first season of Millionaire in September. CAA-repped Cedric is the second member of The Original Kings Of Comedy standup troupe to be recruited to host a syndicated game show, joining Steve Harvey who has been on Family Feud since 2010.
TV Land’s president Larry W. Jones made the announcement at the top of TV Land’s portion of TCA. Hot In Cleveland has received a 24-episode order for a fourth season, which will premiere next November. “We’re really proud of this show and so proud of everything Betty (White) has done for this network,” Jones said. He also confirmed the series order to the Hot In Cleveland spinoff starring Cedric the Entertainer. Titled Have Faith, the comedy, created by Cedric and Hot In Cleveland creator Suzanne Martin, has received a 12-episode order and will premiere in June. It stars Cedric as Reverend Boyce “The Voice” Ballentine, an R&B superstar-turned-minister who takes overt as preacher of his father’s church.” The character was introduced in an episode of Hot In Cleveland in August. Niecy Nash stars as Boyce’s wife Lolli. “The show that Cedric and Suzanne have created is a fantastic family sitcom that you just don’t see as much on TV today.”
The 24-episode order for Hot In Cleveland will bring the total of episodes produced to 78, a remarkable feat given the fact that the show’s pilot was picked up to series only 22 months ago. Probably in part …
EXCLUSIVE: Hot In Cleveland is becoming a franchise for TV Land. On the heels of the sitcom landing a best cable comedy prize at last night’s People’s Choice Awards and just in time for star Betty White’s 90th birthday on Tuesday, I’ve learned that TV Land has renewed its flagship comedy series for a fourth season. Additionally, I’ve also learned that the network has picked up the untitled Hot In Cleveland spinoff starring Cedric The Entertainment to series. The project, written by Cedric and Hot In Cleveland creator Suzanne Martin, originated as an August Cleveland episode introducing Cedric’s character, Reverend Boyce. The network in October greenlighted a standalone pilot, which followed Boyce as he moves to Cedric’s hometown of St. Louis and has to balance his wild past with the expectations of his congregation and his family. The project, co-starring Niecy Nash, is executive produced by Cedric, Martin and Hazy Mills’ Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner, who also executive produce Hot In Cleveland with Martin.
EXCLUSIVE: Niecy Nash has landed the female lead opposite Cedric the Entertainer in his TV Land pilot, a spinoff from hit comedy Hot In Cleveland. Meanwhile, former Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles star Summer Glau and Daryl Mitchell (Brothers) have joined TNT’s drama pilot Scent Of The Missing.
Written by Hot In Cleveland creator Suzanne Martin, the spinoff follows Cedric’s character Reverend Boyce as he moves to St. Louis and has to balance his wild past with the expectations of his congregation and his family. Reno 911! alumna Nash, repped by WME and Principato-Young, will play his wife. Martin and Cedric wrote the pilot and are executive producing with Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner. Production is slated to begin on Dec. 2.
TNT’s Scent Of The Missing, executive produced by co-writers Carol Mendelsohn, Melissa R. Byer & Treena Hancock and Barry Josephson, centers on Susannah (Tricia Helfer), a tenacious, strong-willed K-9 Search and Rescue volunteer who works with an equally determined partner — her mischievous golden retriever, Puzzle. Glau, repped by UTA and the Schiff Co., will play a new member of the K-9 Search and Rescue team who is beautiful and very wealthy but much tougher than she looks. UTA-rpped Mitchell will play a wheelchair-bound former military sergeant who serves as the communications technician for the team. Production on the pilot, …
TV Land’s proposed Hot In Cleveland spinoff starring Cedric the Entertainer is moving one step closer to reality with a pilot order. The pilot order was somewhat surprising given that Cedric’s minister character was introduced on an episode of Hot In Cleveland that aired in August. Written by Hot In Cleveland creator Suzanne Martin, the episode had been perceived as a backdoor pilot for a potential spinoff series starring Cedric. Now the project also is going through a traditional pilot process. The potential spinoff follows Cedric’s character Reverend Boyce as he moves to Cedric’s hometown of St. Louis and has to balance his wild past with the expectations of his congregation and his family. Martin and Cedric wrote the pilot and are executive producing with Hazy Mills’ Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner, who also executive produce Hot In Cleveland. Production is slated to begin on Dec. 2.