After 20 seasons, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire has been cancelled — and, unfortunately, that’s their final answer.
A spokesperson for the series, which has aired about 3,000 episodes and was based on the U.K. program of the same name, confirmed that it will not be returning to Variety.
Regis Philbin hosted the first three seasons of the game show, which first aired in 1999, when it was on ABC primetime. As it began its 17-year syndication streak, Meredith Vieira took over from 2002 until 2013. Cedrick the Entertainer performed the duties from 2013 until 2014 while Terry Crews held things down from 2014 until 2015. Since 2015, Chris Harrison of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette franchises has been handing out money instead of roses.
The format was simple: Contestants answer multiple choice questions of increasing difficulty with each correct response equaling more and more money. If they could make it far enough, they’d have a chance to answer the $1 million question. Along the way, they could utilize lifelines — such as Ask the Audience, 50:50 and +1. Phone a Friend, one of the original lifelines, was eliminated in 2010 with the rise of search engines. (Thanks a lot, Google!)
In the iconic series’ history, a dozen people have taken home the top prize. Most fans will remember when John Carpenter — not the director — became the first-ever winner on November 19, 1999. Who could ever forget when the IRS agent, who was 31 years old at the time, used the Phone a Friend lifeline to call his dad just before he answered the final question, making him a millionaire. Impressively, he had used no lifelines up until that point.
Aside from the U.K. and the U.S., more than 150 international countries have created their own versions of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with Australia, India, and Russia being just a few.
One thing’s certain: We won’t be forgetting about this historic show anytime soon.