Millionaire Is Cashing In

Buena Vista Television is taking its rookie game show Who Wants To Be a Millionaire
to the market for third- and fourth-year clearances, according to Executive Vice President John Bryan.

"The fact that Millionaire
is gaining traction with men as well as with women gives us a bright outlook," says Senior Vice President Lloyd Komesar.

Buena Vista originally cleared Who Wants To Be a Millionaire for two years. After showing steady growth, the syndicator hopes to get the show improved time periods while renewing it.

faces one big problem it needs to resolve before next fall: Where is it going to air in New York? WCBS-TV is replacing the show at 4 p.m. next fall with Warner Bros.' People's Court. With an ABC-owned station in the New York market, Buena Vista has a guaranteed place for the show, but WABC-TV might not be able to give it a strong time period.

The show has been averaging a 3.5 in national household ratings, making it the third-highest-rated syndicated game show, behind King World's Wheel of Fortune, at an average 9.7, and King World's Jeopardy, at 7.5.

has access clearances on Big Three affiliates in 30 out of the top 100 markets. In those markets, it is averaging a 5.4 rating/8 share among households, up 14% from the time-period performance in February 2002 sweeps, says Katz Television Group Vice President Bill Carroll. Millionaire's share is flat in women 18-34, up 17% in women 25-54, and flat in men 18-49 and men 25-54.

By comparison, the show's closest competitor, King World's Hollywood Squares, is averaging a 5.3/9 on Big Three affiliates in access in 25 of the top 100 markets, says Carroll. That's flat in households from February 2002 sweeps and down 29% in share in women 18-49, 25% in women 25-54, 33% in men 18-49 and 14% in men 25-54.

In February 2002, however, Olympics coverage on NBC affiliates in Seattle; Portland, Ore.; and Tucson, Ariz., preempted Hollywood Squares, which skewed the show's performance downward this year, says King World. In ratings (as opposed to share), Hollywood Squares
is up a bit in female demos and flat or down in male demos.