Let’s Make a Deal, CBS

It looks like Howie Mandel isn’t the only person making a “Deal” in daytime.

CBS is slotting a revival of Let’s Make A Deal in the time slot vacated by Guiding Light beginning Sept. 21, with new host Wayne Brady.

Even though Light is slotted at 3 p.m. (ET) in most areas, Let’s Make A Deal is expected to be paired with The Price Is Right at 10 a.m. (ET) to give CBS a two-hour game show block and the 3 p.m. hour is expected to be returned to affiliates. Many of them had been airing Light at 10 a.m. (9 a.m. in Chicago) anyway.

Let’s Make A Deal premiered on December 30, 1963 on NBC in color with Monty Hall as host. When NBC and Monty Hall entered an impasse in contract renewal negotiations with NBC in December 1968, he took the popular show to ABC and helped the struggling network gain traction in daytime, eventually passing the peacock network for second place. In fact, the deal would have ramifications for NBC for decades, as the network hasn’t climbed out of third place since. The series would run on ABC until July 9, 1977.

In 1971, ABC Films (which became Worldvision Enterprises two years later) sold Let’s Make A Deal in weekly first-run syndication where it became a huge early evening prime-access smash hit. This version ended in 1977 as well.

Later versions of the show were less successful. A 1980 syndicated version taped in Canada failed, and a 1984-86 syndicated version of the show (from Telepictures) didn’t gain much traction. A 1990-91 NBC daytime version with Bob Hilton as host did not have the success the mid-1960’s version did earlier on the network (because of a scheduling conflict, KNBC in Los Angeles – an NBC O&O – aired the program at 3:30 a.m. for its first few months!)

NBC tried again to launch the show in prime-time in 2003, but it too did not go anywhere.

Details of this new version are sketchy, but should be unveiled at the TCA Press Tour on Monday.

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