South Africa is getting fifth season of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

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ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
Photo: Photo by Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images
  • Popular quiz show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, is back.
  • The Afrikaans version, Wie word ‘n Miljoenêr?, will broadcast on kykNET (DStv144) later this year.
  • Entries are now open and will close on 6 August.

You'll want to phone a friend: South Africa is getting a 5th season of the game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

After 17 years, M-Net is warming up the once-hot international game show format now licensed by Sony Pictures Television. Red Pepper Pictures is taking over from Rapid Blue to produce an Afrikaans version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, entitled Wie Word 'n Miljoenêr? for kykNET.

The South African version ran for four seasons between 1999 and 2005, first on M-Net and later jumping to SABC3, with Jeremy Maggs as the quiz host.

A possible Afrikaans version that was eventually planned and then scuppered is now finally going into production, similar to the single Afrikaans season of Idols that kykNET did in 2006.

People who want to enter Wie Word 'n Miljoenêr? can do so on kykNET's website, with a second round of multiple-choice test auditions that will be done over Zoom.

Wie Word 'n Miljoenêr? coming soon to kykNET.
Wie Word 'n Miljoenêr? coming soon to kykNET.

Contestants will have to be in or willing to travel to Cape Town, where Red Pepper Pictures will film the season. Potential contestants must have good general knowledge, be a South African citizen, older than 18, and be available to record episodes during September and October.

It's not yet known who will be the game show host, but the Covid-19 pandemic and the country's adapted coronavirus safety protocols during the filming of TV shows is bringing a potential new twist to the new South African season: The likely lack of an in-studio audience.

While Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? used to offer a contestant four different so-called "lifelines" during the course of their attempt to win R1 million by answering 15 questions correctly. Red Pepper Pictures and kykNET are definitely reducing the lifelines to just three – a strong indication that the "Ask the Audience" option is very likely falling away.

While "50/50" (removing two incorrect answers), and "Phone a Friend" (making a call to a pre-selected friend to ask if they know the right answer) will definitely remain, "Ask the Audience" (au audience poll) might very likely get swopped out in Wie Word 'n Miljoenêr? – as has happened with several other versions of the show worldwide that went audience-less because of Covid-19.

"Ask the Audience" in Wie Word 'n Miljoenêr? could be replaced by "Ask the Host", Switch the Question (a replacement question), or "Three Wise Men" (asking in-studio experts for their answer).

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