Slumdog Millionaire continues to collect awards in its pre-Oscar run, but that might not be the biggest story tied to the feel-good movie. There’s a chance its success will spell renewed interest in Who Wants to Be A Millionaire and maybe even a return to prime time for the once-popular series. Uh…paging Regis? The Meredith Viera version of WWtBaM still airs in syndication, to solid but declining ratings according to the New York Times. Given the current popularity of prime time game shows like Deal or No Deal and Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?, maybe a Millionaire renaissance isn’t too far off. That’s not the worst thing I’ve ever heard — I’ve watched quite a bit of Millionaire in my time, though I consider myself a Jeopardy! person at heart — but it’s not the game show I want revived.
TV overlords, give me back Beat the Geeks, a short-lived Comedy Central series that pitted average folk against genre experts. I will also accept a new version of Idiot Savants, an MTV show that let contestants show off their unusual areas of expertise. Both shows are totally due for contemporary iterations given 1. our cultural climate of enthusiastic nerd acceptance and 2. a truly pervasive need for income. Blockbuster movies get special previews at Comic-Con, iPhone apps are sweeping the nation, and I for one cannot wait for tech demigod Steve Wozniak to dance with the stars. We have a Trekkie in the White House, for goodness sake. Bring back my geek contests!
addCredit(“Dev Patel in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’: Ishika Mohan”)