UPDATE: ABC announced Wednesday that comedian Cedric the Entertainer has been named the new host of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” replacing the departing Meredith Vieira beginning with its 12th season in national syndication this fall.
“We are thrilled to announce that Cedric ‘The Entertainer’ will be at the helm as our new host of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,’” said Janice Marinelli, president, Disney-ABC Domestic Television. “With his deep roots as a successful stand-up comedian and actor, Cedric will bring his fresh approach and unpredictable fun to the show.”
“I’m truly looking forward to hosting ‘Millionaire,’” Cedric added in a statement. “The show is a modern day game show GIANT, and the team at Disney-ABC has been great at putting the right elements together over 11 seasons. I’m excited to entertain all those who watch and play as season 12 launches … It’s going to be a good time every day!!”
The 48-year-old comedian has reportedly signed a multi-million dollar, three-year contract to replace Meredith Vieira, who’s leaving the quiz show after an 11-year run as its host since the syndicated version launched in 2002.
Cedric is expected to take over his new hosting duties in September. Original “Millionaire” episodes (taped in advance) hosted by Vieira will continue to air through May, followed by repeats through the summer, according to Deadline.
The new gig is not expected to impact Cedric’s TV Land comedy series, “The Soul Man,” which begins filming its second season in March.
Vieira announced Jan. 10 that she was leaving the long-running game show after hosting “Millionaire” for 11 years. She’s moving on to focus on other ventures, including contributing more at NBC News and launching her own YouTube channel.