Who Wants To Be A Millionaire 10th Anniversary Primetime Celebration (partially lost episodes of ABC game show; 2009)
In August 2009, the American game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire celebrated 10 years of being on the air. To coincide with the anniversary, the show returned to ABC for 11 episodes with the show's original host the late Regis Philbin returning to host. Making this the first time the show had aired in primetime since 2004's Super Millionaire and the ABC version's cancelation in June 2002. This would also be the last time the show would air on the network before the show's permanent return to the network in April 2020 and it would also be Philbin's last time hosting the show before his passing in July 2020. Despite the show performing well in the ratings during it's 11 episode run, only seven episodes and another one incomplete are online.
Interest in the show grew after the stock market crash of 2008 and the movie Slumdog Millionaire, while the then-currently running Syndicated version of the show wasn't performing well with audiences. The special was announced in April 2009 and premiered on August 9th to massive ratings. While the special was praised for the return of Regis and older format, it was criticized for keeping bits of the clock format (the most criticized format of the whole series) from the the currently running syndicated version. However, the 11 episode run will be forever remembered for what happened in the final episode of the run. Ken Basin, an entertainment lawyer and Harvard Law graduate got to the million dollar question and was asked "For ordering his favorite beverages on demand, LBJ had four buttons installed in the Oval Office labeled "coffee," "tea," "Coke" and what?", the answers were Fresca, V8, Yoo-Hoo and A&W. He answered Yoo-Hoo and the correct answer was Fresca. He ended up winning $25,000.
While the special was airing, YouTube user RomeijnLand2 uploaded episodes 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8 in parts (though not complete). However in April 2020, user Tripz Gaming, uploaded episodes 1, 2, 4, 5 (which used to be available in poor quality), 7, 8 and 11 in their entirety. However, he did not upload episodes 3, 6, 9 and 10. It's possible RomeijnLand2 uploaded the missing episodes in parts but got taken down, but it's unknown. This is the only version of the show that has not been reran on Game Show Network and with the show's return in 2020, it's unlikely that reruns of the special will ever happen. Along with episodes 3, 6, 9 and 10, one contestant's run went unaired (similar to what happened to Brad Bianucci). According to fastest finger finalist in episode 3, Mike Pulcini, there was a female contestant named Dina Grassi who made it to the hot seat. He also said that he doesn't remember how much she won, either $8,000 or $16,000. Her run was likely edited out due to time constraints.
All contestants' questions, except for Dina Grassi's ones, were transcribed.
|1||August 9, 2009||Found|
|2||August 10, 2009||Found|
|3||August 11, 2009||Partially Found||John Zimcosky's 2nd part of play and a question for celebrity Sherri Shepherd, as well as unaired play of Dina Grassi, are lost|
|4||August 12, 2009||Found|
|5||August 13, 2009||Found|
|6||August 16, 2009||Partially Found||Ellen Gaines' play was available in 2018, according to edit history on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? wiki|
|7||August 17, 2009||Found|
|8||August 18, 2009||Found|
|9||August 19, 2009||Lost|
|10||August 20, 2009||Lost|
|11||August 23, 2009||Found|
- Access Online article about the show's 2009 return
- People article on Regis Philbin's death
- TV Series Finale article on the show's 2009 return
- Archived Buzzerblog article on the show's 2009 return
- Millionaire fandom site with the show's ratings
- Game Show Garbage Induction on the show's clock format
- Share TV page on Grassi's run going unaired
- Game Show News Net transcript on the third episode
- Millionaire Fandom page on Ellen Gaines