'Deal or No Deal' goes on short hiatus

Once a multinight staple for NBC, “Deal or No Deal” is taking a break.

The Howie Mandel gamer, which is now also broadcast across the country as a syndicated daytime strip, will still remain in the Peacock’s arsenal as a utility player, likely popping up with special stunts or during holiday periods rather than as a regularly scheduled series.

” ‘Deal’ can benefit from a rest,” said Mitch Metcalf, NBC exec VP of program planning and scheduling. “It’s a show that can really work well for us in special situations, and we’ll evaluate it as a regular series.”

To that end, “Deal” has followed the pattern of other primetime gamers that burned bright but eventually faded (“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” is the most notable of these). This season, “Deal” is averaging a 1.3 rating/4 share with adults 18-49 vs. a 2.2/8 on the night last year. (Show did a 3.5/8 last year in its marquee Monday slot.)

“Deal” will depart the net after the holidays, NBC announced Tuesday as part of its January scheduling announcement.

Among other changes: the addition of three new reality skeins, plus the return of critical fave “Friday Night Lights.”

Besides “Deal,” the Peacock also is giving “Life,” “Chuck” and “Heroes” the month off; those shows are slated to return in February. And off the schedule, probably for good (as expected): “My Own Worst Enemy,” “Lipstick Jungle” and “Crusoe.”

NBC hasn’t yet determined its long-term midseason sked, however, holding off on scheduling new shows such as “Kings” or returnees such as “Medium” (believed destined for Mondays) and the NBC run of “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.”

“There’s still a few pieces we’re playing with in the midseason, for February and beyond,” Metcalf said. “We’re setting ourselves up for some nice, continuous runs of shows (like ‘Chuck’ and ‘Heroes’) that don’t repeat as well.”

“Deal or No Deal” could always reappear as well despite the net’s intentions to rest it. But for now, Metcalf hopes to satiate the gamer’s viewers — of which there have been quite a few less this season — with another reality skein hosted by Mandel, “Howie Do It.”

That hidden-camera show will take over “Deal or No Deal’s” Friday night at 8 p.m. slot beginning Jan. 9.

Other new nonscripted fare set to premiere in January includes international dance competish “Superstars of Dance,” which will get a monthlong stint starting with a two-hour bow on Sunday, Jan. 4, at 9 p.m. (behind the special “Saturday Night Live Sports Extra”).

“Superstars of Dance” will then settle into its regular Monday 8-10 p.m. slot on Jan. 5. and broadcast its finale on Jan. 26.

Also on Monday nights, the long-delayed and much-rescheduled Ryan Seacrest/Glassman Media reality skein “Momma’s Boys” will air at 10.

On Sundays, NBC will replace “Sunday Night Football” with a flurry of specials, including the Golden Globe Awards (Jan. 11), “Saturday Night Live Film Festival” (Jan. 18), mini “The Last Templar” (Jan. 25-26) and Super Bowl XLII (Feb. 1).

Metcalf said series will still eventually air on Sundays once the net gets past the January noise.

NBC will air “Law and Order: SVU” repeats on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. opposite tough “American Idol” competish, giving “Life” a break. (“Knight Rider” and “Law and Order” continue on the night.) Tuesdays continue with a new edition of “The Biggest Loser: Couples” and “Law and Order: SVU,” although “SVU” will be preempted on Jan. 20 for a “Dateline NBC” inauguration special.

Friday nights, beyond “Howie,” will also include “Friday Night Lights” episodes, which originally bowed on DirecTV in the fall. Show repeats will now move to the Peacock (as planned), starting Jan. 16 at 9 p.m., in the slot vacated by the departing “Lipstick Jungle.”

The schedule, according to NBC (all times ET):

MONDAYS (beginning January 5)

8-10 p.m. —  “SUPERSTARS OF DANCE”; premieres Sunday, January 4 (9-11 p.m.); season finale Monday, January 26 (8-9 p.m.)

10-11 p.m. – “MOMMA’S BOYS”                    

(“Chuck” and “Heroes” return in February)  

 

TUESDAYS (beginning January 6)

8-10 p.m. – “The Biggest Loser: Couples”       

10-11 p.m. — Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”

 

TUESDAY (January 20)

10-11 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”: Presidential Inauguration Special (10-11 p.m. ET) 

 

WEDNESDAYS (beginning January 7)

8-9 p.m. — “Knight Rider” 

9-10 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” encores (“Life” returns in February)

10-11 p.m. — “Law & Order”

 

THURSDAYS (beginning January 8)

8-8:30 p.m. – “My Name Is Earl”

8:30-9 p.m. — “Kath & Kim”

9:00-9:31 p.m. — “The Office”

9:31-10 p.m. — “30 Rock”

10-11 p.m. – “ER”

 

FRIDAYS 

8-9 p.m. — “HOWIE DO IT” (series premiere January 9)

9-10 p.m. – “Friday Night Lights” (beginning January 16)

10-11 p.m. — “Dateline NBC” (beginning December 5)

 

SATURDAYS (beginning January 10)

8-11 – “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” encores

 

SUNDAYS (January 4)

7-9 p.m. – “Saturday Night Live Sports Extra” 

9-11 p.m. – “SUPERSTARS OF DANCE” (premiere)

 

“Sunday — Event Specials”

8-11 p.m. – “THE GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS” (January 11)

9-11 p.m. – “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE FILM FESTIVAL” (January 18)

9-11 p.m. — THE LAST TEMPLAR — (January 25 and Monday, January 26)

6:15-10 p.m. — SUPER BOWL XLIII (February 1)

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