NEW YORK – ABC finally took the wraps off its revamped version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."
"Super Millionaire," (search) premiering Feb. 22 for a five-night run with host Regis Philbin (search), will include a grand prize of $10 million, bigger prize money for each level and two new lifelines.
"At a certain point, contestants will enter a new dimension of the game, a new world with new lifelines - and they'll once again be playing for a staggering amount of money," "Super Millionaire" executive producer Michael Davies told reporters yesterday.
The two new lifelines, "Three Wise Men" and "Double Dip," kick in at the $100,000 level and were added "as an incentive for contestants to 'go for it,' " said Davies.
The "Three Wise Men" lifeline will feature a group of three people backstage each night - journalists, scholars and past "Millionaire" winners - who will be seen and heard trying to answer questions in 30 seconds.
The "Double Dip" lifeline allows a contestant to take two shots at answering a question.
"If they're right, they'll move on," Davies said. "If they're wrong, they'll have a second question - and if they're wrong again, they're out of the game." The contestant will, however, get to keep his/her $100,000.
Davies said he hopes the new "Super Millionaire" won't evolve into gimmicky shows (supermodels! athletes!) that helped run the original show into the ground.
The phone lines for "Super Millionaire" open this Monday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. (800-999-7878).