The longtime comedian and host of NBC’s prime-time hit “Deal or No Deal” has agreed to a contract with NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution to host the upcoming syndicated edition of the game show. The new version is devised as a Monday-through-Friday daytime strip.
With Mr. Mandel on board, the show is now slated to launch in fall 2008.
The distributor and Mr. Mandel had previously see-sawed back and forth in negotiations. In recent weeks, the two sides reached an agreement that would pay Mr. Mandel “several million dollars a year” to add the series to his resume, sources close to the deal said. It is not yet decided whether the syndicated version of show will be a half-hour or an hour in duration.
The upcoming series likely will be shot at the same set as NBC’s prime-time version of the show, and executive-produced by Scott St. John, who also serves as showrunner for the network version of the series, the production sources said. In addition, most of the same prime-time production team would remain for the syndicated strip. The syndicated version will not affect Mr. Mandel’s hosting duties on the prime-time version of the show.
For NBC Universal, the deal represents a coup. “Deal or No Deal” ranked as one of the network’s biggest hits this season and will come to syndication pre-branded and with a household name at the helm. These two elements have the ability to drive up interest and dollars from stations.