It’s not exactly the quiz-show scandals of the ’50s, but it appears ABC’s ”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” did a little rigging of its own. In a Jan. 13 taping, host Regis Philbin interviewed contestant Sean Farrelly’s father. The recently retired fellow said he wanted to pursue acting, and dreamed of a guest shot on NBC’s ”Law & Order.” During a break, a ”Millionaire” rep asked the would-be thespian to reshoot the interview. The problem? He had cited an NBC series. The suggested solution: Substitute ABC’s ”The Practice” for ”L&O.”
”It must have been meant in a joking way,” says ”Millionaire” exec producer Michael Davies, who points out that other competing networks’ series have been mentioned on the show. ”It certainly wasn’t a direction that came from the control room.” In any case, the stab at corporate synergy was not to be: During his second interview, Dad flubbed his lines — and failed to mention either show.