- (Photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid)
Meredith Vieira is leaving "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" after 10 years of hosting. She took over the syndicated series and won two Daytime Emmy Awards for her spirited personality as hostess.
"It's the final year of Meredith's contract. She has chosen to move on and pursue other opportunities. We are searching for a new host," a Disney/ABC Television Group spokeswoman told Reuters.
Vieira will still be featured on episodes through May, as well as the repeat episodes that will run until a new host or hostess is found for the new fall season. She has hosted for 10 years and 11 seasons, and took over the position from Regis Philbin, who hosted the series during its primetime debut.
She actually managed to become the second woman to take home a Daytime Emmy for her hosting ability; only the legendary Betty White won before Vieira for hosting "Just Men!" Vieira managed to become the first woman to take home multiple Daytime Emmy Awards in the hosting category; she won in 2005 and 2009.
Vieira has had a long career on television; she famously took over Katie Couric's role as co-host of the "Today" show on NBC in 2006. Couric left to work as the anchor of the CBS Evening News, leaving a void for NBC. Vieira worked well with Matt Lauer for five years.
Fans have expressed their own interest in the series' future, offering their advice or suggestions for the next host or hostess.
"I vote @SherriEShepherd for new host!" tweeted Brock Koller.
"Meredith Vieira is leaving 'Millionaire.' If anyone from Disney is reading, I'M AVAILABLE," offered Jim Lokay and Jason DeRusha.
According to the Associated Press, Vieira "will be launching her own YouTube channel with stories on people's lives." The AP's source spoke anonymously because details have not been released just yet.
Vieira is also expected to continue working in some capacity with NBC News.