It looks like Meredith Vieira will be staying at ABC's TheView
after all. But she'll be doing double duty for The Walt Disney Co. -- the company's TV-syndication unit, Buena Vista Television, has tapped her to be the host of the
new first-run version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire
A source with knowledge of the situation said Wednesday that a deal is
"imminent," although it may not be done until later this week or early next.
Word of Vieira's pending Millionaire deal came as a surprise to many.
Word was that Buena Vista was interested in Jeff Probst, host of Survivor,
although a source said Probst had no interest in hosting the show.
Vieira had also received overtures from CBS about replacing Bryant Gumbel as
host of The Early Show, and apparently, one way that ABC could justify upping
her pay to keep her at The View was to have her host the syndication game
show (cleared on 85 percent of the country for a fall-2002 launch), as well.
There was no comment from ABC or Buena Vista on the expected announcement.