Fi­nal an­swer: No more ‘Who Wants to Be a Mil­lion­aire’

The Morning Call - - GUIDE - By Rich Helden­fels

Q: What hap­pened to “Who Wants to Be a Mil­lion­aire,” my fa­vorite game show?

A: You’re not the only one who has asked about the Amer­i­can adap­ta­tion of the Bri­tish game show. But the se­ries has ended af­ter a long run, in­clud­ing 20 years in prime time and syn­di­ca­tion. The prime-time ver­sion launched to huge num­bers on ABC in 1999 but the net­work’s ex­ces­sive use of the show — run­ning it al­most ev­ery night — wea­ried au­di­ences and it ended in 2002. (There were brief at­tempts to bring it back in 2004 and 2009.) But 2002 also saw the se­ries move into broad­cast syn­di­ca­tion and re­main there un­til the com­pany be­hind it tersely an­nounced its end this year.

Regis Philbin was the orig­i­nal host. Mered­ith Vieira was the first host of the syn­di­cated ver­sion, then fol­lowed by Cedric the En­ter­tainer, Terry Crews and Chris Har­ri­son. And that’s my fi­nal an­swer — to this ques­tion.

Q: As an avid “Star Trek” fan, I would love to know if a fourth the­atri­cal movie is about to ar­rive in the­aters. The first (and the best) ap­peared in 2009, the sec­ond in 2013, the third in 2016. If a fourth film is com­ing, I will be the first in line!

A: The fu­ture is hazy for a new “Star Trek” film, the fourth star­ring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, and the 14th if you count ear­lier ef­forts show­cas­ing the orig­i­nal “Star Trek” team and “Star Trek: The Next Gen­er­a­tion.” There’s been talk about one since around the time that “Star Trek Be­yond” pre­miered in 2013. But re­ports in Jan­uary of this year said the so-called “Star Trek 4” had been shelved. Forbes’ Scott Mendelson said at the time that “Star Trek” just did not seem like a big event in con­trast to fran­chises such as “Star Wars,” the Mar­vel Cin­e­matic Uni­verse and the “Fast & Fu­ri­ous” films. And, he added, the fran­chise has a healthy life on TV again, thanks to “Star Trek: Discovery.”

Then what would get masses of movie­go­ers buzzing about big-screen “Star Trek” again? How about Quentin Tarantino? He’s been in­ter­ested in di­rect­ing an R-rated “Star Trek” and talked about it while pro­mot­ing his “Once Upon a Time in Hol­ly­wood.” Mak­ing that even more tan­ta­liz­ing is Tarantino’s claim that his next film, his 10th, will be his last, so would that be “Star Trek”? And would you be the first in line for that?

Q: I am won­der­ing what hap­pened to “The Book of John Gray” on the OWN chan­nel. I saw on YouTube that John Gray was hav­ing trou­ble in his mar­riage. Could that be the rea­son that is it not on?

A: Gray, lead pas­tor of Re­lent­less Church in Greenville, South Carolina, has been pub­lic about dif­fi­cul­ties in his mar­riage, even sug­gest­ing he and his wife Aven­ter came close to di­vorce. (He also sparked some crit­i­cism last year af­ter giv­ing Aven­ter a $200,000 Lam­borgh­ini as an an­niver­sary present.) But an OWN rep­re­sen­ta­tive said only this: “We en­joyed hav­ing

‘The Book of John Gray’ as a part of our un­scripted pro­gram­ming lineup over three sea­sons since 2016. There are no plans at this time for new episodes.”

Q: In the 1950s or ’60s there was a movie ti­tled “Tom Brown’s School Days,” sim­i­lar to “Oliver Twist” and “Great Ex­pec­ta­tions.” Do you know what has be­come of this movie?

A: The novel by Thomas Hughes (var­i­ously writ­ten with “School Days” or “School­days”) has in­spired four movies — in 1916, 1940, 1951 and 2005 — as well as a Bri­tish minis­eries that aired on “Mas­ter­piece Theatre” in 1973. The minis­eries is on DVD, as are the 1940 and 2005 ver­sions. I have seen a DVD of the 1951 ver­sion for sale, but it is in a Euro­pean for­mat that is not com­pat­i­ble with many U.S. DVD play­ers.

Write to Rich Helden­fels, P.O. Box 417, Mo­gadore, OH 44260, or bren­fels


Orig­i­nal “Who Wants to Be a Mil­lion­aire” host Regis Philbin, right, con­grat­u­lates a con­tes­tant on the show.

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