What became “no deal” for ABC has turned into a big deal for NBC.
Peacock has snatched up the rights to “Deal or No Deal,” the Endemol USA-produced gameshow based on the successful international format of the same name currently seen in more than three dozen countries. Net has ordered multiple episodes and put the skein on the fast-track for production.
NBC’s pickup comes 18 months after Endemol first set up “Deal” at ABC (Daily Variety, Jan. 15, 2004). After a pilot was shot, Alphabet quietly dropped the project.
Endemol USA prexy David Goldberg said he wasn’t fazed by the Alphabet’s decision, noting it came following the departure of former ABC topper Lloyd Braun, who had originally greenlit the skein.
“If you believe in something, you don’t give up,” he said via cell phone from Barcelona, where he was traveling on business.
Goldberg didn’t let “Deal” die, and in the interim, the format became a major hit in numerous international markets. Format has also been tweaked.
“A lot has changed since ABC decided not to air it,” Goldberg said. “We’ve done quite a few things to enhance the show.”
NBC reality chief Craig Plestis said he watched a couple of episodes of “Deal” and that Endemol even arranged for Peacock execs to play a mock version of the quiz, in which players have to gamble a set amount of coin on the chance that there’s even more coin in a hidden package.
Top prize is being kept secret but NBC said it will be “millions of dollars.”
“It’s a simple idea. You just watch it and you’re hooked,” Plestis said.
“There are no physical stunts or trivia questions to answer,” he added. “In order to claim a fortune, the winner will essentially have to know when to say ‘when.’ ”
Plestis thinks the show can have widespread appeal, luring everyone from kids to older adults.
“It’s worked in every market it’s been in,” he said.
Scott St. John will exec produce the U.S. version.
Endemol USA already has a solid relationship with NBC, producing the long-running hit “Fear Factor” and the summer skein “I Want to Be a Hilton.” Studio also produces the ABC hit “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and is partnered with Shapiro/Grodner Prods. on “Big Brother.”