NEW YORK, May 26 (UPI) -- Actor Terry Crews says original Who Wants to Be a Millionaire host Regis Philbin gave him his blessing when he heard he would be taking over the U.S. game show.
Crews was recently announced as the show's next emcee after Cedric the Entertainer said he was leaving the daily, syndicated program after one season.
"I got the blessing from Regis!" Crews told UPI in a phone interview last Wednesday. "I talked to Regis yesterday, which was awesome and he was like, 'Terry, you're going to be great; just give them that 1,000-watt smile and you're going to be awesome.' I was like, 'This is Regis Philbin!' I actually got blessings from Cedric, too, which was awesome. Cedric was like: 'You're going to kill it. I love you, man.' Those words just mean so much to me. I'm a fan of both Regis and Cedric and to fall in the line with these guys? I love [former host] Meredith Vieira, too, but I haven't spoken to her yet. It's just a good class of people to be around."
So, how will the always-in-demand celebrity juggle his new job with his role on the celebrated sitcom, Brooklyn Nine-Nine?
"I will never miss an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine ever," he vowed. "What I'm going to do is a bunch of episodes [of Millionaire] at one time and when I'm on hiatus [from Brooklyn,] but I love talking to people. That energy? That is going to be the coolest thing. That's something I need that I don't get being on a movie or TV set. Being able to talk to people in front of a studio audience and get that energy is something that is going to empower me. I'm going to live off that energy and bring it back to Brooklyn and it'll just keep going back and forth like that. I love that stuff."
The show's producers are now lining up contestants and expect to start taping fresh episodes of Millionaire in mid-June, he said. The new season is scheduled to begin airing in the fall.