April 25, 2002 10:00 AM

“The View” regular — and one of PEOPLE’s Most Beautiful People of 1999 — Meredith Vieira, 48, is expected to serve as host of the syndicated weekday version of ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” premiering in September, according to Thursday reports in both the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. Stations across the country that have agreed to carry the show have grown increasingly anxious about the lack of a host, said the Times, which accounts for ABC’s finally zeroing in on a finalist for the job. (Regis Philbin has been the host of the prime-time version, which was a long-running ratings sensation, always monopolizing the Nielsen Top 10 weekly list, until this past season.) Vieira also made news earlier this week when it was announced that she would not replace Bryant Gumbel on CBS’s “The Early Show,” as some in the industry had speculated. On Wednesday, noted USA Today, ABC’s flagship station in New York, WABC, teased the CBS possibility heavily throughout the morning, but by its noon newscast acknowledged that the buzz about the former “60 Minutes” correspondent and CBS was based on unconfirmed reports. Neither ABC nor CBS had any comment, the national paper reported. Vieira didn’t mention anything about the situation on “The View.”

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