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London calling

2/25/2001 07:00:00 PM Eastern

Michael Davies, executive producer of ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, originally spotted the popular quiz show on British TV and helped bring it across the pond. Now Davies, a Brit himself, wants to open a studio back home. Last week, Davies said his American-based studio, Diplomatic Productions, was opening New York and Los Angeles facilities. London's next on his agenda.

"We want to make a lot of television programs, and not just in America," says Davies, whose studio also produces ESPN's Two Minute Drill. Davies wants to produce both fiction and nonfiction.

And what of the off-net future, if any, of Millionaire?
"I don't know about next year.but it's obviously going to be there at some point." Davies says Millionaire's four episodes a week on ABC will likely "go down to three episodes, but I think ABC will start using the show as almost a weapon down the road. If there is a half-hour debate, we could do a half-hour special episode. If it's sweeps, we could a certain theme. That's how I see it evolving."

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