News Column

TV's 'Millionaire' Moves To Stamford

July 3, 2014

By Alex Putterman, The Hartford Courant

July 03--"Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" has come to Connecticut'sGold Coast.

Last week, the popular TV game show started filming for the 2014-15 season in its new home at the Connecticut Film Center in Stamford. It previously filmed in New York.

The first shows of the new season will begin airing Sept. 8. Terry Crews, a former NFL player and an actor currently co-starring in the Fox TV sitcom "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," replaces Cedric the Entertainer as host

"This relocation -- and the 150 jobs that come with it -- is just the latest example of how our efforts to build Connecticut's television and digital media industry have paid off tremendously over the last three years," Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement Wednesday.

Malloy attributed the move to a Connecticut incentive program, established in 2006, that enables production companies to earn tax credits of up to 30 percent on digital media and motion picture expenses incurred in the state. In the past eight years, the state has issued $365 million in tax credits, the governor's office said.

Stamford has become a hub for TV production. Other shows originating in the city include "The Jerry Springer Show" and "The People's Court." A&E, NBC Sports, the YES Network and the NHL Network all have facilities there.

The Connecticut Film Center, where "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" will be filmed and produced, also houses the "The People's Court." The center is 25 miles from New York City.

"[Television producers] recognize that Connecticut is a burgeoning spot for television production," the center's founder, Kevin Segalla, said. "Connecticut has a great incentive program, and its proximity to New York definitely helps. ... We're definitely seeing growth in the industry, which is fantastic."

New York has a tax credit program similar to Connecticut's, allocating $420 million per year to encourage film projects in the state, but Segalla cited facilities shortages in the city and the relative ease of shooting in Connecticut as distinguishing factors.

In one sense, Stamford is an appropriate home for "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire," a program premised on making millionaires. Last month, Stamford appeared fourth on Kiplinger's list of where millionaires live. According to Kiplinger's, 8.5 percent of Stamford residents -- and 29,065 total households -- qualify as millionaires.

Crews replaces Cedric the Entertainer as host. The former football player is currently co-starring on Fox's sitcom "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." He has worked in Stamford previously, appearing in 72 episodes of "Are We There Yet?" at the Film Center between 2010 and 2012.


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Source: Hartford Courant (CT)

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