BURBANK, Ca. -- Actor, author, fitness enthusiast, Old Spice pitchman and former NFL player Terry Crews will soon be adding “game show host” to his resume as he has been named the new host of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” The multi-talented Crews will join the show beginning with its 13th season in national syndication in fall of 2014, it was announced Wednesday.
In addition, seasoned game show and television producer James Rowley has joined the show as executive producer. Crews will host the long-running franchise from Stamford, Connecticut as production is moving to a new studio prior to the start of the 2014-2015 season.
“We are excited to announce that Terry Crews will be taking the reigns as our new host of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ next season,” said Janice Marinelli, president, Disney-ABC Domestic Television. “Terry is engaging, endearing, smart, and quick on his feet -- the perfect combination to lead one of the longest-running franchises in game show history.”
“Terry has a larger than life personality and his contagious enthusiasm and innate curiosity is sure to resonate with the ‘Millionaire’ audience,” said Lisa Hackner, executive vice president, Daytime & Syndicated Programming, ABC Entertainment Group. “Terry has the unique ability to make anyone feel comfortable and we are confident he will connect with both contestants and viewers.”
"I'm beyond thrilled to be joining ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ and the Disney-ABC family,” commented Crews. “‘Millionaire’ is such a beloved franchise and I can’t wait to get started as the new host. In addition to my film projects including ‘Blended,’ ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and now being a first time author, hosting has always been a dream of mine, and I couldn’t have asked for a greater opportunity.”
Crews will take over for Cedric “The Entertainer,” who presently hosts the 2013-2014 season. Meredith Vieira launched the weekday version of the game show in 2002 and remained host for 11 seasons, through 2013.
Since retiring from the NFL, Crews has traded in his helmet and cleats to pursue an acting career while also becoming the ultimate family man and fitness enthusiast. He is currently a series regular on FOX’s Golden Globe award-winning comedy series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” alongside Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher as Sgt. Terry Jeffords, whose ripped exterior belies a sensitive and beleaguered interior. Over the past few years, Crews has demonstrated his skillful range as an overworked dad in “Everybody Hates Chris,” a tough guy in the “Expendables” franchise, the loveable goofball in “White Chicks,” Will McAvoy’s bodyguard in “The Newsroom,” the pec-popping Old Spice pitchman, and randy congressman Herbert Love in “Arrested Development.”
This year, Crews appeared in Tyler Perry’s film “The Single Moms Club,” and Ivan Reitman’s “Draft Day.” Next up is the comedy “Blended” with Adam Sandler and he’ll be reprising his role as “Hale Caesar” in the third installment of the “Expendables” franchise. Crews also penned his first book, “Manhood,” which will hit shelves on May 20. The warmhearted memoir chronicles his quest to become a good man, loving husband and responsible father.
Crews was born in Flint, Michigan, and attended Flint Southwestern Academy. He earned an Art Excellence Scholarship to attend the Interlochen Center for the Arts and then Western Michigan University. While completing his studies as an art major, Crews was a key member of the WMU football team, earning all-conference honors as a defensive end. Crews was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1991 NFL Draft. He carved out a career that lasted six seasons, including stints with the Rams, San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.
Crews lives in Los Angeles with his wife of nearly 25 years, Rebecca Crews. They have five children.
Executive Producer James Rowley has an extensive background in game show and television production. Most recently he served as executive producer on the hit truTV series “Killer Karaoke” and “Seriously Funny Kids” for Lifetime. He executive-produced and co-created “Ultimate Film Fanatic” for IFC and executive-produced “Extreme Dodgeball” for the Game Show Network. Rowley co-created “Beat the Geeks” for Comedy Central and “Cram” for the Game Show Network. His other credits in various producer and writing roles include VH-1’s “The Surreal Life,” FX’s “The X Show,” VH-1’s “Strange Love” and FOX Sports’ “Ultimate Fan League.” In addition, Rowley co-founded production company Knucklehead Television, which produces the hit reality show “Legends’ House” for WWE.