The long-running ABC television show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” will now be filmed in Connecticut, bringing 150 jobs to the state.
The Disney-ABC Domestic Television quiz show is entering its 13th year in syndication, and began shooting for the 2014-15 season last week at the Connecticut Film Center in Stamford. It previously had been filmed in New York City, and will be eligible for state tax breaks for moving to Connecticut.
Former NFL player Terry Crews is the new host of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” Crews also starred in the production of the television series, “Are We There Yet?” that taped at the same sound stage.
TV and digital media industry
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy praised the decision to come to Connecticut by the show’s producers.
“This relocation — and the 150 jobs that come with it — is just the latest example of how our efforts to build Connecticut’s television and digital media industry have paid off tremendously over the last three years,” said Malloy, a former mayor of Stamford.
Malloy said the state’s motion picture tax credit program is bringing new investments and good-paying jobs with good benefits to Connecticut.
Tax credits for production expenses
The show’s production entity, Disney’s Valleycrest Productions, is eligible to take advantage of the state’s digital media and motion picture tax credit program that provides companies with up to a 30% tax credit for production expenses.
Since 2006, the state has issued $365 million in tax credits, leading to the expenditure of $1.2 billion in film, television and digital media production, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
Several companies, including ESPN, have recently either moved operations to the state or significantly expanded existing infrastructure.
Show began in 1999
“Who Wants to be a Millionaire” began as a primetime ABC-TV show hosted by Regis Philbin in 1999, gaining instant popularity among U.S. viewers. It was based on a successful British show.
A Connecticut resident, 31-year-old John Carpenter of Hamden, became the first person to win a million dollars on the show in November 1999. At the time, it was the largest amount ever won by a game show contestant in American history.
The syndicated version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” began in 2002 and was hosted by Meredith Vieira for many years.
Show tickets are available
Those interested in tickets for show tapings of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” in Stamford can go to ctfilm.com and click on Crew & Casting Calls, or log onto http://millionairetv.dadt.com/tickets/.