Acknowledging Sunday that ABC was clearly “on the post-phenomenon side of” Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, ABC Entertainment Co-chairman Lloyd Braun said that the network’s decision to air the quiz show four times a week last season gave it an “enormous luxury” in the form of time to develop new comedies and dramas. “It’s still a great, fun show,” Co-chairman Stu Bloomberg added during a presentation at the annual critics tour in Pasadena. Millionaire will be cut to two nights a week beginning next season.
The two co-chairmen also announced that the Sept. 30 premiere episode of ABC’s drama series Alias will air without commercial interruption. Instead, spots for the Finnish cellphone maker Nokia will appear at the beginning and end of the program. Braun also indicated that there will be several product-placements for Nokia within the drama itself but that they will be “completely organic.” However, Washington Post writer Lisa de Moraes remarked in her column Monday that there are so many plugs for Nokia in the script that it appeared as if writer-creator J.J. Abrams “had Nokia on the brain when he wrote the pilot.”