CBS is teaming with “American Idol” producer FremantleMedia North America for a new version of the classic quizzer “Password.”
Regis Philbin — whose last gig hosting a gameshow with a $1 million prize worked out well — will host the pumped-up remake, which will be known as “Million Dollar Password.”
Eye has ordered six hourlong episodes of the new“Password” and plans to air it later this season. FremantleMedia North America CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz will serve as exec producer of show, set to tape in Gotham.
“Million Dollar Password” will combine and modernize elements of three past “Password” skeins: the original, “Password Plus” and “Super Password.” Two teams — made up of one celeb and one contestant — will compete to uncover secret passwords during the first round of the game. Winning team will then have the option of risking their coin in a million-dollar bonus round.
Frot-Coutaz said FremantleMedia and CBS were eager to introduce the “Password” concept to contempo viewers.
CBS alternative topper Ghen Maynard called “Password” one of “the all-time classic gameshows” and said the net was psyched to land “the ever-enthusiastic” Philbin as host.
New “Password” reps the first primetime gameshow Philbin has hosted since the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” phenomenon exploded in 1999. Last summer, he hosted the NBC variety skein “America’s Got Talent.”
“Password” first aired on the Eye from 1961-67, with Allen Ludden hosting both daytime and primetime versions. More than 1,500 episodes were produced during that frame.
ABC revived the show in 1971 as a daytime skein, which ran for several years. NBC’s take on the format, “Password Plus,” debuted in 1979 and ran four more years. After a two-year break, skein was resurrected in 1984 as “Super Password,” with Bert Convy handling hosting duties.
FremantleMedia North America is home to a vast library of classic quizzer formats, including hits such as the Eye’s “The Price Is Right” and the successful syndie revival of “Family Feud.” Recently launched syndie quizzer “Temptation” is based on the classic format “Sale of the Century.”
Studio is also behind Fox’s upcoming reality competition “The Next Great American Band.”