Stephen M. Silverman
May 08, 2002 01:40 PM

Passing on a reportedly lucrative offer from rival network CBS to hop onboard its “The Early Show” in the perch being vacated by Bryant Gumbel on May 17, TV personality Meredith Vieira will remain with ABC, reports The New York Times. Her duties on her home network will be to continue on “The View” for five more years and to host the upcoming syndicated version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” says the Times. The game show will debut this fall. The paper called the decision by Vieira, 50, bad though not unexpected news for CBS, where the search for a new morning anchor continues. “Hollywood Squares” host Tom Bergeron, 47, will fill in immediately after Gumbel, 53, leaves, though the assignment is considered temporary, says the Associated Press. According to the AP, Vieira, who’s married to writer-producer Richard Cohen and is the mother of three, was reluctant to take on a pre-dawn workload. “The View” airs live at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and “Millionaire” episodes will reportedly tape once a week in the afternoon. Both The Times and AP reported that although terms of Vieira’s deal with ABC were not disclosed, she is said to be receiving about $5 million a year. “For Meredith,” her agent, Michael Glantz, told The Times, “the overwhelming factor in all of her career choices is her family.”

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