File under “not groovy”: Fox execs have put a last-second halt to “That 70s Show” star Ashton Kutcher’s plans to play for charity on ABC’s May sweeps celeb edition of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”
Kutcher had a very personal reason for doing “Millionaire.” His brother once underwent a heart transplant, and he wanted to play for a University of Iowa center that gives support to the families of transplant patients.
ABC offered to not air any of Kutcher’s “Millionaire” moments on Tuesday or Wednesday night, and it seemed for a while that Fox would consent. But Thursday, a day before taping of the celeb “Millionaire,” Fox execs leaned on Kutcher’s reps to kill his appearances, industry insiders said.
Kutcher, apparently not wanting to anger Fox toppers Sandy Grushow and Gail Berman, has now pulled out. As a consolation, Fox is donating $32,000 to the University of Iowa– the minimum amount bio-chem major Kutcher could have won.
“Ashton is saddened he can’t go on the show, but he respects his network’s decision and is grateful they’re giving $32,000 to the hospital and the families that need it,” a rep for the thesp said.
Fox isn’t the first web to pull its stars from “Millionaire”: Last November, NBC and CBS convinced their celebs to stay away from the quizzer.