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|Deal or No Deal USA|
|Show Duration||19 December 2005 - 28 May 2010|
|Top Prize|| $1,000,000-$6,000,000 (primetime)|
|Setting|| Los Angeles, California, United States of America (2005-2009)|
Waterford, Connecticut, United States of America (2009-2010)
Deal or No Deal started on the 19th December 2005. The show was originally broadcast for ABC but they opted for a different show to fill in the gap. NBC then grabbed up the rights and broadcasted their first show. USA had followed many countries in producing their version notably the UK. Starting on the 8th September 2008, a syndicated daytime variation of the show premiered. The final episode of the NBC primetime version aired on the 18th May 2009. In February 2010, it was officially announced that the daytime version would be cancelled in May due to low ratings. The final daytime episode aired on the 28th May 2010. However, the NBC Deal or No Deal website is still up, unlike other recently cancelled NBC game shows such as 1 vs. 100. Because of this, Deal or No Deal USA might come back.
The show always began with 26 lovely models walking down steps, with 26 briefcases in their hands. Howie even said to them, "Hi ladies", and they would reply with "Hi Howie". Host Mandel calls the name of a studio random audience member, who comes up to the contestant's podium to start the game. This has been occasionally different. Whenever a special guest is playing, a higher top prize is being offered, or the Million Dollar Mission or Multi-Million Dollar Madness is going on, the contestants will come out of the Deal or No Deal vault instead, like crossover contestants (see below). On two occasions, Howie even went backstage to take a person thinking they would be in the audience to be the contestant. As Howie states at the beginning of a game, "There are 26 cases held by 26 lovely ladies, each of them holding a random amount of money. The top prize in one of these cases is $1,000,000, all the way down to a penny." The contestant must choose their case, and the model of the case picked brings the case down and hands it to Howie, who places it on the podium (although the first five episodes in 2005 saw the models place the case in the podium).
The game has nine rounds, with the cases being opened decreasing for each round. As Howie reminds each player, "Whatever is in the case you open cannot be in your case." Here is the order of the cases opened per round:
|Round 1||6 cases to open|
|Round 2||5 cases to open|
|Round 3||4 cases to open|
|Round 4||3 cases to open|
|Round 5||2 cases to open|
|Rounds 6-9||1 case to open|
At the end of each round, contestants receive an offer from the Banker, who, as stated above, "calculates your odds of having a lot of money in your case and tries to get you out of here with as little money as possible." The contestant then must decide to whether to say "Deal" or "No Deal"; if they say "Deal", they must press a flashing red button in a small case; if they say "No Deal" they must close the case and continue the game. If a contestant takes an offer, the rest of the game is played out to see what would have happened. If a contestant turns down all nine offers from the Banker, Howie offers a swap between the final two cases. This final swap was never taken, although three contestants claimed they would have taken it had they gone all the way. All three of them would have ended up with one of the top two amounts. These rules were adjusted sometimes. The board was occasionally modified (see below) and on the show's 200th episode celebration, contestants played Speed Deal or No Deal, where they chose all cases for a round at once, they were all opened right away, and they only had 20 seconds to decide to say "Deal" or "No Deal". When time ran out, it was an automatic "No Deal". The rest of the game also wasn't played out in that episode after a deal was taken and just showed what was in their case (although this did rarely happen on regular games). Unlike other versions of the show like the UK and Australia, Deal or No Deal USA features crossover contestants, whose names are called again after the models are introduced and they come out of the Deal or No Deal vault, an offstage set where Howie usually introduces the episodes. However, in the first five episodes in 2005, the crossover contestants simply come out of the audience, sitting in the front row for obvious reasons.
The set has been changed a few times. The first set, used from 19/12/05 to 23/12/05, was used in CBS Television City in Hollywood, where other famous American game shows like "The $25,000 Pyramid" were taped. In February 2006, a brand new set was built in the Sunset-Gower Studios, and was used for the rest of the first season. In September 2006, another new set was introduced, this time being in the The Culver Studios, and was used for the rest of the primetime show and the first season of the daytime show. In July 2009, the Culver Studios set was shipped to Waterford, Connecticut in the Sonalysts Studio to reduce production costs. The set had to be scaled down to fit the studio, and was filmed there until the show's end in May 2010.
The board has been different occasionally. The show's second week in early 2006 saw the top prize increase by $500,000 for each show the top prize was not won, which eventually reached $3,000,000. As a joke, the $3,000,000 board also had the lowest amount possible being $.03. During the season 2 premiere week in September 2006, a very similar variant was done. The top prize grew by $1,000,000 for each contestant rather than $500,000 for each day. To make room for more seven-figure prizes on these boards, the $300,000 and $400,000 spaces were removed and the $200,000 space was replaced by $250,000. On four occasions in season 2, the amounts of the board were doubled. September 2007 saw the debut of the Million Dollar Mission, where for each contestant that did not earn a million dollars, another case with a million dollars would be added. The M$M has been done four times from 2007 to 2008 and the show had its first two millionaires, Jessica Robinson and Tomorrow Rodriguez, from it. From May to June 2008, there was a special set of shows entitled the Multi-Million Dollar Madness. During these shows, the contestant would be placed in a chamber where golden balls would float around. Each ball had a number from 2 to 13. A contestant had to grab one of these balls and whatever number is in it is the number of million dollar cases in their game. Five contestants from November to December 2008 played with the same $2,000,000 board used in 2006. Rarely on the show, amounts are replaced with prizes, although these are usually gag prizes on the left side of the board. Thanksgiving 2006 saw $10 being replaced by a pumpkin pie and $25 by a turkey. Thanksgiving 2007 saw these prizes return, as well as gravy, which replaced $.01, cranberry sauce, which replaced $1, and stuffing, which replaced $5. On Christmas 2007, gag prizes were used again. $1 was replaced by coal, $5 was replaced by egg nog. and $10 was replaced by fruitcake. Gag prizes were also used in the Rockin' 80's special in January 2008, $1 was replaced by a scrunchy, $5 was replaced by hairspray, $10 was replaced by leg warmers, and $25 was replaced by a boom box. The only time a real prize was in play was on the 14th January 2008 edition, where a truck replaced the $50,000 spot.
September 2007 and 2008 changesEdit
On the season three premiere on the 17th September 2007, the show saw a few major changes. The first and most noticeable change is that the interior of the cases have been changed from blue to red. The original music used when cases were being opened were scrapped for three new pieces replacing it: One was used for rounds 1-3, one was used for rounds 4 & 5, and one was used for rounds 6 to 9. The set was also slightly modified, with three lights being added to the left of the gallery. These changes remained on the primetime and daytime shows until Deal or No Deal USA ended in May 2010.
Also, at the beginning of the 2008-2009 primetime season of Deal or No Deal USA, the Banker's Office was changed. Lights were added to the back and there was more room for the Banker to stand up and walk around. Also, Host Howie Mandel started wearing a tie, stating before the season premiere that, "I am so excited about giving away $1,000,000, I am wearing a tie." Strangely enough, these changes weren't seen on the daytime version.
Occasionally, Deal or No Deal or the Banker offers (or assigns) a sidegame during or after their regular game. Here are the sidegames the show has seen.
The Green CaseEdit
On the Thanksgiving 2006 special, a special GREEN case was brought out for Terra Walker's game. What would happen is that if Terra could go through eleven cases without opening up $1,000,000, she would win what was in the case. Her hopes of winning what was inside the case didn't last long, however, as she eliminated $1,000,000 on the third case of her game.
Double or NothingEdit
On the 7th January 2007 and the 21st January 2007, Double or Nothing was offered to the contestant that night. Throughout the two shows, Howie claimed he would ask a question at the end of the show, but it wasn't deal or no deal, yet it could make them win $2,000,000. After the contestant finished their game, two giant cases were brought out on stage held by five of the Deal or No Deal models. Howie would explain that one case holds DOUBLE, and the other holds NOTHING, and asks if they want to play. The two contestants decided not to play the game, but they played it out to see what would happen. When it was played, they would have to choose the left case or the right case (due to the fact that the cases were not numbered and had the Deal or No Deal logo printed on them). The five models then open the case (Howie does say all of their names) and then their winnings will double or go down to $0. The first contestant, Kathy Beck, won $99,000, but would have doubled it to $198,000 had she played. The second contestant, Angela Teta, won $1,000 and would have lost it had she played.
Hershey's Kisses 100th Anniversary $100,000,000 SpectacularEdit
On the 16th November 2007, in honor of Hershey's Kisses celebrating their 100th Anniversary, Howie claimed that a special game with a top prize of $100,000,000 will be played later in the show. The contestant playing the regular $1,000,000 game that night, Erin Kraft, had her game interrupted in the sixth round so the special game could be played. There were three teams of two chosen by a sweepstakes. Their colors were Gold, Red, and Blue, and they each had their own set of 150 cases. To win the $100,000,000, they had to pick two cases, and both of them most hold both halves of the Hershey's Kiss for the $100,000,000 to be won. The 148 other cases will hold a "Not a Winner" sign. If the $100,000,000 was won by more than one team, it would have to be split. The three teams did not win the $100,000,000, as all the cases they chose held "Not a Winner," but each team got a $100,000 consolation prize for showing up.
Two Games at OnceEdit
On the 5th December 2007, contestant Summer Andrew claimed her husband was horrible at the Deal or No Deal flash game on nbc.com before beginning her game. So the Banker called almost immediantly after she said this. He said that because of mentioning her husband's horrible skills at the game, he sent out a model to take him backstage and he would play the online game while Summer played the real game. At the end of the game, Summer would have to decide whether to take her winnings or her husband's winnings, where she, of course, does not know what her husband wins. During her game, her husband's board was displayed three times. Summer took the deal of $59,000. She then decided to take her husband's winnings, and the model opened the case to reveal that her husband won $74,000, so she won $74,000.
Winner Takes AllEdit
On the 10th December 2007, 7th February 2008, and the 28th April 2008, the games of the night were played under special Winner Takes All rules. What would occur is that the contestants playing the special sidegame would come out of the vault (3 contestants on 10/12/07, 2 on 7/2/08 and 28/4/08) and Howie would explain the rules specifically that each will play a game and the other(s) will go backstage in seperate rooms, not knowing what the contestant wins. The audience is also swapped out for each contestant so nobody knows what each player has won. At the end of the show, all the contestants reveal what they won, and the person that wins the most money will take the other contestant(s)'s winnings. This made it possible to win up to $2,000,000 or $3,000,000 (depending on the number of players). The first edition saw contestants Eric Serpino, Shalanda London, and David Vincent play the special competition. Eric won $50,000, Shalanda won $10,000, and David won $1, so Eric took home a total of $60,001. The second edition saw Jay Hughes and Kristine LeMiuex play the game. Jay won $117,000, while Kristine won $121,000, so she took home a total of $238,000. On the final edition, which was also a Stars Wars special, Star Wars fans Elyse McCrillis and Brad Flinchum played. Elyse won $13,000, while Brad won $196,000, so he took home a total of $209,000.
The Deal WheelEditOn the 12th December 2007, the 21st April 2008, and the 23rd April 2008, contestants were forced to play a sidegame at the end of their game called the Deal Wheel, where they could double or triple their winnings, or half it instead, allowing for a maximum prize of $3,000,000. The wheel had thirty spaces, 10 spaces had 1/2, 15 spaces had x2, and 5 spaces had x3. What would happen is that the contestant would spin the wheel, grab the golden ball from a nearby model, climb the stairs to the top of the wheel, and drop the ball to see what it lands in. During the balldrop, sound effects from the case openings are used. The ding used when a small amount is opened is used when the ball lands in x2 and x3, and the disasterous sound used when a big amount is opened is played when the ball lands in 1/2. The first contestant, Efren Afante, halved his $296,000 to $148,000. The second, Anthony Moreira, doubled his $40,000 to $80,000. Joseph Kobes tripled his $26,000 to $78,000. LeTia Soney doubled $15,000 and the value of her $5,100 Billy Blanks fan package to $40,200. Tony Canastrano halved his $66,000 to $33,000. Finally, Jenna Steinhoff halved her $119,000 to $59,500. The Deal Wheel also in the daytime version, the two ladies Tameka and Patricia have to drop the ball to see which contestant will play for $500,000.
The Banker's ChallengeEdit
In season three and season four, The Banker's Challenge was usually offered (and sometimes forced) to play. These challenges would usually lend contestants bonus money that is theirs to keep no matter what, although this didn't always happen. The first Banker's Challenge appeared on the 11th February 2008, contestant Tamika Kendall claimed she was like a princess, so the Banker said he would double the size of contestant her $266,000 offer if she kissed a frog, a reference to the famous fairytale The Frog Prince. She declined, however, and said no deal to continue her game. Three days later, a contestant named Edward Tommasi claimed he would always used to take $5 bets on just about anything, so The Banker offered two of these bets. The first was to wear the same shoes as the Deal or No Deal models for the rest of the show. He did so, and received $5 in bonus money. The Banker then offered another bet, that was to wear the same dress as the Deal or No Deal models, so he did so and won another bonus $5. He would take the deal of $131,000, bringing his total winnings to $131,010. On the 7th April 2008, The Banker offered a challenge to contestant Uchenna Emenaha. After stating that her brother wanted a new car, the Banker called before the game to give a challenge to win up to five new cars. All she had to do was keep in the $1,000,000 case for the first five rounds to win all five. For each round she went by without hitting the million would gurantee her a new car, hers to keep no matter what. Unfortunately, these dreams went away quickly when she eliminated the $1,000,000 on the first case. Two days later, The Banker offered Josh Akuna a chance to add up to $10,000 to his $143,000 offer. Because Josh said he was afraid of squirrels, as a squirrel attacked him while he was working on a telephone pole, The Banker placed three cards, respectively containing $1, $5,000, and $10,000, into a cage with the same squirrel that attacked him. Josh declined, and said no deal to continue his game. On the 16th April 2008, The Banker offered a chance for contestants Trey Milburn, Ray Abboushi, Eric Cox, and Drew Hoffmanm, who are fraternity brothers, a chance to add $30,000 to their $98,000 offer. What they had to do was pick up one of three placards from a pool of oatmeal. One had $10,000, one had $20,000, and one had $30,000. A fraternity brother from the audience did the job and picked up the $30,000 placard, increasing the offer to $128,000. They said deal to the $128,000. On the 7th May 2008, the Banker offered contestant Elaine Primeaux the chance to double the size of her $91,000 offer, sent out on a sign by a model, if she ate blood sausage, which she absolutely despised. She did so, but another model came out with a $91,000 sign double the size of the original one. On the 14th May 2008, the Banker offered Allison Doheny a $10,000 bonus if she ate five mopani worms. She did so, and was guaranteed at least $10,000. She eventually dealt at $22,000 and a $3,200 Martha Stewart package, bringing her total winnings to $35,200. Season four saw the Banker's Challenge become more common. It was offered to Koshka Blagburn on the 25th August 2008, where if she turned down every offer, she would receive a $7,000 Broadway package. She did so and won that, as well as the $5,000 in her case, bringing her total winnings to $12,000. On the 3rd October 2008, contestant Tommy Knowlton said that he needed a new car. So the Banker offered a challenge where he could win a 2008 Smart For two Passion, valued at $15,300. All he had to do to win it was open the door, sit in it, and close it. He did so, and easily won the car. He took the deal of $448,000 later in the show, making his total winnings add up to $463,300. On the 22nd October 2008, the Banker offered a $10,000 bonus if contestant Ritchie Bell could keep his heart rate under 140 when he received, thought about, and decided what to do with his $261,000 offer. He successfully did so and won a bonus $10,000. He also won $1 at the end of his game, bringing his total winnings to $10,001. On the 2nd January 2009, Mandy Quigley was offered a Banker's Challenge where she would be raised up on a harness where three cases holding $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 would be attached to ropes. Because of this, she could win up to a $16,000 bonus. She accepted, and successfully retrieved all three cases and won the whole $16,000 bonus. She took the deal for $35,000, making her total winnings $51,000. On the 4th May 2009, David Lee was offered a bonus where he had to wear a styrofoam suit and retrieve two placards that read "BONUS" and "PRIZE," where if he did so, he would win a bonus of $10,000. He accepted, and successfully got both to win the $10,000. He eventually took the deal of $14,000, making his total winnings $24,000.
The Reindeer GameEdit
On the Christmas 2008 special, a special sidegame was played where if a contestant opens one of the nine lowest amounts (from $0.01 to $200), a name of one of Santa's nine reindeer will be on top of it. If the contestant can find all the names, they win a bonus of $25,000. The names are tracked on a board placed above the supporter's bench. The first contestants, the Calhoun family, took the deal of $107,000 when Rudolph and Vixen were still on the board. Their case held $5, which was the Vixen case. The next contestant Matt Zedwick, had the reindeers in his game randomized into different cases, but they were still in the lowest nine. After the sixth round, he opened up all the reindeer cases and won the $25,000 bonus. A round later, he also took the deal of $202,000, bringing his total winnings to $227,000.
Happy New Year!Edit
Very similar to the Reindeer Game, the Happy New Year! game is a special sidegame played on 1/1/09 where you could win a $10,000 bonus. To do so, you'd have to open the nine cases on the left side that have a HAPPY NEW YEAR! on top of them. If you go all the way, you'll win whatever is inside case #2009. The first contestant, Brien Crowder, won $234,000 leaving in two remaining HAPPY NEW YEAR! cases. He had $500,000 in his case. The next contestant, Tunde Oyene, had all the HAPPY NEW YEAR! amounts randomized for her game. She opened all of them by the fifth round and won the $10,000 bonus. She also went all the way and case #2009 was opened, revealing "CAR," which was a 2009 Ford Flex, worth $45,190, bringing her winnings to $55,190. She also won the $100,000 in her case, bringing her total winnings to $155,190.
In 2006, a pilot for a daytime version of Deal or No Deal was shot, the pilot was hosted by Arsenio Hall, as Howie Mandel did not want to host the daytime version. Despite this, the daytime version debuted on the 8th September 2008 with Howie Mandel as host. The daytime version was syndicated, meaning it was broadcast on various different channels throughout the country. It was also only 30 minutes long, while the primetime was 60. The format of the daytime show was different than the primetime version and more like the UK's. There were 22 cases held by the 22 contestants that week with amounts ranging from $.01 to $500,000. The contestants were chosen by two of the primetime show's models, Patricia Kara and Tameka Jacobs, through the Deal Wheel. Patricia spun the wheel, and Tameka dropped a golden ball into the wheel where numbers from 1 to 22 were in the slots. Whatever slot matched the contestant's case number were to be that day's contestant. The contestant brings down that case and hands it to Howie, who places it on the podium. They do have the option to swap out their assigned case before the game begins, but because of this, they cannot swap it out at the end like on the primetime show. The contestants onstage then open up the remaining 21 cases. Here is the game board:
A week of shows is taped in one night as five contestants play the game, but is edited so there will be one contestant per day, completely abandoning the crossover contestants that the primetime show had. Due to a smaller number of cases, the number of cases opened per round is different than the primetime show as well. Because of this, there are only seven rounds rather than the primetime's nine. Here are the number of cases opened per round:
|Rounds 1 & 2||5 cases to open|
|Round 3||4 cases to open|
|Rounds 4 & 5||2 cases to open|
|Rounds 6 & 7||1 case to open|
For one week in October 2008, round 4 had 3 cases to open rather than 2, so there were only 6 rounds for the five games of that week. Also, The Double Deal will back once again doubling all the money, the daytime version will be changing from Double Deal Day to Double Deal Week.
The daytime version occasionally had sponsored weeks where contestants opening the cases onstage could win money and a prize. During Evian week, a contestant with the Evian case would win $1,000 and a year's supply of Evian water. Another example is Listerine week, where the contestant with the Listerine case would win $7,500 and a trip. There was also Splenda week, where if that day's contestant opened the case, the next offer would have an additional $10,000 added to it (which made contestants immediately say deal if their board had less than $10,000 available). There were also holiday themed weeks like Halloween Week and Holiday Wishes Week, the latter featuring a Sears case where an onstage contestant with that case would win a $10,000 Sears gift card. Afterwards, Howie would ask what they would "wish" for with the gift card. From the show's start on 8/9/08 to its end on 28/5/10, nobody won the $500,000 top prize. The biggest winner was Chelsea Drakes, who won $275,000 on the Friday episode of Baby on Board week on the 26th September 2008.
Starting on the 26th December 2005, NBC's sister channel, CNBC, began airing reruns of Deal or No Deal USA. They were successful for the network, giving them above average ratings. After CNBC dropped reruns of the show in 2009 due to its NBC cancellation, GSN (formerly known as the Game Show Network) picked up reruns for its first three seasons and began airing them on the 1st June 2009. In April 2010, they picked up the rights to air the fourth and final season and began airing it on the 16th April 2010 at 7:00 eastern time, when season two reruns were still occupying that timeslot. In fall of 2009, MyNetworkTV picked up the rights to air reruns of the daytime version. They also occasionally aired new episodes seen in syndication at a later time (e.g. Monday and Tuesday episodes of WWE week aired in November 2009, but weren't seen in syndication until February 2010). Due to the daytime version's cancellation, MyNetworkTV dropped its reruns in September 2010, and reruns of the new syndicated "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" took its place. In October 2010, GSN picked up the rights to air reruns of the syndicated version of the show, and began airing four episodes a day on the 18th October 2010, two from 5:00 to 6:00 eastern time and two more from 7:00 to 8:00 eastern time, when season three primetime reruns were still occupying the timeslot.
- Before Hugh M. Krochka became the first $1,000,000 winner on the 13th February 2007, the record-holder for the biggest winner for nearly two years was Michele Falco on the 22nd September 2006. She was the sixth contestant on the season two jackpot shows, so she played for a $6,000,000 top prize. She got down to the final two cases of $750,000 and $1,000,000. She turned down the highest offer ever in the USA of $880,000 and won the amount in her case... $750,000.
- The highest offer ever taken was $701,000 by Kimberly Chastang on the 19th September 2006. She was the fourth contestant in the season two jackpot shows mention above, so she played for a $4,000,000 top prize. Her case held $1,000,000.
- The biggest winner on the regular $1,000,000 board was Thorpe Schoenle on the 24th April 2006. He took the deal of $464,000 with $1,000,000 being the only higher amount. He would have opened the $1,000,000 case next had he said no deal. His case held $400,000.
- The lowest offer ever was $0.50, offered to Michael Levine on the 5th February 2010. This record was held for nearly four years by Cheryl Jackson, when she received a $2 offer on the 28th February 2006.
- The lowest offer ever taken was $8 by Brett Kurtz on the 24th March 2006. The remaining cases held $5 (which he had) and $10.
- The first $0.01 winner was Heather McKee on the 3rd January 2008. She played the second game in the second run of the M$M, so she played with three $1,000,000 cases. Her highest offer was $207,000.
- The first contestant to select the $1,000,000 case was LaKissa Bright on the 26th April 2006. She took the deal of $215,000, but received a $357,000 offer earlier in the show. After Howie opened her case #17 to reveal $1,000,000, he claimed it was a "Deal or No Deal first."
- The first contestant to select the $0.01 case was Eric Paulson on the 10th March 2006. He took the deal of $19,000, but received a $126,000 offer earlier in the show.
- The first contestant to open the $1,000,000 case on the first pick was Rebecca Van de Ven on the 3rd May 2006. She later won $9,000.
- The show aired its 100th episode celebration on the 7th May 2007, when it was actually the 104th episode. In a similar fashion, they also aired their 200th episode celebration on the 3rd November 2008, when it was actually the 186th episode.
- While the primetime version did have annual Thanksgiving and Christmas specials, the daytime version featured much more themed shows. In September 2008, there was Baby on Board week, where all of the contestants were pregnant women. In October 2008 and 2009, they had Halloween week, where the set was decorated and all of the contestants were in costumes, as were the models that handed out candy. In December 2008, there was Holiday Wishes Week, where the set used the same decorations as the Christmas '08 primetime special, but the $10,000 space was replaced by a Sears space, where the contestant with that case would recieve a $10,000 gift certificate to Sears. In July 2009, there was Lottery Winners Week, where all the contestants have won the lottery before. In November 2009, there was the Hamilton Family Reunion, where everybody in the studio was a Hamilton, so Howie called out one of them from the audience, like in the primetime show. In November 2008 and in February 2010, there was Military Week, where every contestant worked in the military and were in military uniform. Also in February 2010, there was WWE Week, where two WWE Divas spun the Deal Wheel, wrestler Dolph Ziggler was The Banker, and the contestants were WWE fans. In May 2010, there was Police Week, where all of the contestants worked for the police. There were also various Teacher's and Firefighter's Weeks. Also, a number of sponsored weeks have been seen on the show, where the contestants opening the cases can receive a special prize.
- This game show was parodied on "Sesame Street" as "Meal Or No Meal".