Deal or No Deal by Trae Patton/NBC Photo
Jeers to NBC for giving viewers a raw Deal. Did the Peacock have to crow so loudly over Deal or No Deal's first million-dollar winner in advance? The network sent out a suspense-spoiling press release a week before the episode aired. Even if you're not on NBC's e-mailing list, you couldn't miss the not-so-subtle hints peppered through the telecast. "The biggest Deal or No Deal ever!" "History will be made!" There was even a countdown clock, and footage of confetti falling from the rafters. The winner was straight out of central casting: a pregnant blond Texan named Jessica Robinson. And instead of the usual single million-dollar case, there were five. You don't suppose NBC was trying to drum up excitement about the show again because it's launching a syndicated half-hour version next week, do you? What are the odds?

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