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.
Cedric The Entertainer To Succeed Meredith Vieira As Host Of Syndicated ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’
Looks like Disney has hit a legal brick wall in the $319 million Who Wants To Be A Millionaire case. The company today was denied a new trial in the matter by the three-judge 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. In their order Monday, the trio rejected efforts of “the Disney affiliates” — ABC, Buena Vista TV and Valleycrest Productions — to appeal U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips’ initial December 2010 denial of an appeal in the case. “We are extremely disappointed with the decision, as ABC and Buena Vista Television continue to believe that they fully adhered to the Millionaire agreement,” a Disney spokesman told Deadline. ”I’m extremely pleased for the client Celador, my team of lawyers and I’m gratified that the Court of Appeal saw fit today to affirm a carefully crafted trial,” attorney Roman Silberfeld said today.
Citing “a cascading series of errors” in the original 2010 case, Disney was seeking a new trial in hopes of overturning the $319 million Millionaire creators Celador was awarded. In 2010, a jury agreed with Celador that Disney breached the contract between the company and the company’s TV divisions. Despite the likes of Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger taking the stand, the Riverside, CA jury awarded Celador $269 million in damages; Phillips added $50 million in pre-judgment interest. Disney lawyers said from the very beginning they would appeal.
The London-based production company Celador that created Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? tells me it may go after the Hollywood talent agency with a lawsuit. Celador has just won a $269 million court case against Disney/ABC, which aired the U.S. version …
The jury in the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? lawsuit returned a verdict for UK-based Celador today finding that the show’s producer was harmed by Disney’s self-dealing actions. The panel awarded damages totalling $269.2 million for the fair market value of broadcast …
After a 6 year legal maneuvering and a month-long trial, the $250 million case of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? producer Celador v. Disney over profits from the hit game show is now in the hands of the jury. Throughout the parade of witnesses, Celador seemed to prove that it earned less than it could have from the success of the show on ABC. The question is whether it was able to convince the jurors that it was the result of Disney-owned ABC and co-producer Buena Vista TV brokering sweetheart deals among themselves, thus allegedly cheating Celador out of millions — and not because it just made a bad deal.