The shocking success of ABC's Millionaire, which became a national phenomenon when it launched for an initial two-week run in the dog days of summer 1999, paved the way for Survivor and Big Brother on CBS the following summer, which was then followed by American Idol on Fox in summer 2002. In fact, you could draw a line from Millionaire's success to Donald Trump assuming the presidency, says Bill Carter. "That August 16, 1999 fell on a Monday is of little significance except in the world of television, which quite unexpectedly experienced a revolutionary moment that night," says Carter. "The people involved certainly did not anticipate anything extraordinary was in the offing. They were grateful they had a chance to get a new little program on the air, even though it had all the signs of being a throwaway: an extremely low-budget game show being rolled out on ABC toward the tail end of summer, when viewing levels were often at their lowest. The Monday part only mattered because that night kicked off an unusual two-week experiment: the new program, hosted by Regis Philbin, would occupy various time slots on 13 consecutive nights—half-hours on the weeknights, hours on the weekend. That unconventional scheduling was about the only sign that ABC had made more than a glancing commitment to this new addition to its summer lineup. The stakes were clearly low. The entire budget for the 13-episode run was $1.8 million, a figure that, even back then, amounted to loose change in a network programming budget. But the stakes were certainly high for one man, Michael Davies, the program's executive producer, because he had literally walked away from a job as an ABC programming executive to take the reins of the show."