Stone Stanley making ‘Deal’ with Buena Vista

Stone Stanley Prods. has inked a deal with Disney’s Buena Vista TV for a syndie revival of the gameshow “Let’s Make a Deal,” confirming expectations (Daily Variety, Nov. 19)

The partners are said to be eyeing former talkshow host Gordon Elliott as the frontman for the campy shop-and-swap gamer, but sources stressed that no final decision has been made.

It’s unclear how quickly Buena Vista intends to move on the project. The syndie selling cycle for the 1998-99 season is well under way, but a name-brand property like “Deal” could be a fast-starter for BV in a marketplace rife with opportunity in 1998.

Word from Geraldo Rivera last week that his daytime talker would bow out at the end of this season opens up one-hour timeslots next fall on more than 100 TV stations nationwide. What’s more, gameshows are in vogue these days with station programmers, as evidenced this year by King World Prods.’ quick sell of “Hollywood Squares” for a fall 1998 launch.

Stone Stanley Prods., headed by principals Scott Stone and David Stanley, acquired rights to “Deal” from creators Monty Hall and Stefan Hatos in 1995. The indie production company filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit this month against the Family Channel after the cabler reversed plans to carry new episodes of “Deal” on its daytime lineup this season.

Separately, Stone Stanley is at work with Comcast’s C3 programming arm on another syndie project for 1998, a talkshow with dueling-but-married politicos Mary Matalin and James Carville.

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