Millionaire madness has hopped the Atlantic taking firm hold in Ireland with the October debut of the Irish Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Hosted by popular TV personality Gay Byrne, former host of Ireland’s Late Late Show. The first show, aired at 7:30 P.M. on October 17, was watched by 74 percent of people watching television at the time, numbering more than 1 million, an RTE spokeswoman told The Irish Times. Even more viewers tuned into the second part of the show which aired one hour later. An Irish soap opera is sandwiched between the two Irish Millionaire slots. Still the show did not break the record set by the broadcast of the last time Gay Byrne hosted the Late Late Show; 1.3 million viewers tuned in for that.
Confident of the show”s popular reception RTE sold 30-second advertising slots during the show for the highest price, 7,000 euros. In November the price will increase to 10,000 euros.
The show is being produced by Tyrone Productions, which is owned by Riverdance creators Moya Doherty and John McColgan, and follows the same format as the U.S. show.
An initial run of 13 weekly shows is planned, with Tyrone Productions holding the rights to an additional 39. ♦
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