The Production

The unique direction of the show was developed by the Endemol USA team and based in part on director Rich DiPirro’s reading of the “NFL on CBS” football style book in the 1980’s, when he was a high school student.  DiPirro always felt that infusing the excitement and unpredictability of a sporting event to the right game show format could create a new style of presentation for a genre he has loved since watching the classic Mark Goodson game shows as a child. 

Check out this video of the concept in action.

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The Show

Premiering during the 2005 holiday season, “Deal or No Deal” aired across NBC’s weekly schedule, running one episode a day for an entire week.  The bold programming move paid off as America was glued to this new game format presented in a unique and innovative style.  Unshackled by the restrictions of a typical multi-camera TV production, host Howie Mandel prowled the stage freely in the middle of a packed stadium of fans.  Mandel amped up the tension as one contestant tested their luck and patience in search of a $1,000,000 briefcase.

For the next three years, airing up to 3 times in a week, “Deal on No Deal” powered NBC’s prime-time schedule, remained on top of the ratings and received the “People’s Choice Award” for outstanding game show in 2007.

When learning creator Dick Derijk’s format, already a success overseas, was to be produced in America, DiPirro knew the match had been made.  He pitched the sports arena concept, and with the selection of the perfect host in Howie Mandel, fantastic production design by Anton Goss and John Gillis, and stunning lighting by Michael Veerkamp, everything came together to create a innovative, fun, and successful show.  The format has now been copied repeatedly by many shows here in the US and served as the template for international versions of “Deal”,