Walters Exits '20/20,' Regis Comes Back
At ABC, it’s out with the old, and in with the old.
After 25 years as host of “20/20,” veteran newswoman Barbara Walters, 74, announced Sunday that she will step down this September from her perch at the ABC newsmagazine.
This is not being called a retirement, according to the statement from ABC. “I want to have more flexibility in my life without the responsibilities of a weekly newsmagazine,” said Walters. She will still handle about six interview specials a year for ABC News, including her annual pre-Oscar show.
She also intends to remain as executive producer and co-host of the daytime talk show “The View.”
“20/20,” which Walters currently co-hosts with John Stossel, is likely to continue but be less focused on major interview subjects, according to The New York Times.
Meanwhile, the paper also reports that ABC is bringing back one of its most successful game shows in TV history — complete with Regis Philbin. “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” which premiered in 1999, is coming back to prime time, bigger but less often than before.
Rather than as a nightly series, the new version, called “Super Millionaire,” will surface in a one-week burst of one-hour shows during the last week of February, and the big prize will be $10 million (instead of a paltry $1 million).
The Times also says that if “Super Millionaire” catches on, ABC may revive it for one-week runs as many as three times a year.