Gossip Girl by Giovanni Rufino/The CW
Ladies and gentlemen, my calculator and I (sort of) welcome that time of year again. Now, without further ado, Monday's ratings highlights: Deal or No Deal was the night's most-watched program, as 10.4 million total viewers watched Howie hand out the show's first million-dollar prize. Prison Break's two-hour season opener averaged 6.48 mil, a 12 percent drop from a year ago. C'mon, people, give the boys a new chance! The set-up this time around is sweet. Gossip Girl kicked off its sophomore run by drawing 3.38 mil, a bit shy of its September 2007 series premiere but a 380K improvement on its first season finale. That represents GG's best-ever ratings in several key demos, including adults 18-34 and women 18-49. One Tree Hill delivered 3.14 mi, the same audience who tuned into last May's "Who did Lucas call?" cliffhanger. Next week: Sarah Connor rejoins the mix! Matt MitovichRelated: Read our recaps of Prison Break, Tree Hill and more Cheers...
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? Share your own raves and rants about other shows on the Reader Cheers & Jeers discussion board. We may feature your Cheer or Jeer on TVGuide.com or in TV...
Howie Mandel, Deal or No Deal
If tonight's season premiere of the prime-time Deal or No Deal (8 pm/ET, NBC) reignites your hunger for cash-filled suitcases, glam models and Howie Mandel's sexy-smooth dome, you're about to be sated quite nicely. Starting Monday, Sept. 8, a syndicated daily version of the red-hot game show hits the airwaves, streamlining the game play, yet serving up even more of what makes the series such a big Deal. Mandel shared a look at the half-hour version's tweaks and twists as well as previewed the nighttime edition's upcoming thrills.
TVGuide.com: The last time you and I spoke was on the Ferris wheel at the Times Square Toys R Us....Howie Mandel: Oh, I remember that! So this time we
Question: Maybe I'm missing something here, but please explain to me how Deal or No Deal is considered reality, and why Howie Mandel is nominated for an Emmy as the host of such a show. I understand that the Emmys make a distinction between reality and reality-competition programs, and it's understandable how shows such as Survivor and Dancing with the Stars fit into the latter category. But if you ask me, Deal or No Deal is strictly a game show. It's no less of one than The Price Is Right or Wheel of Fortune. Is Deal lumped into the reality categories because there's simply nowhere else to put it? Or does someone honestly believe that the all-too-familiar pick-the-right-case snorefest is in some way a reality show? Howie Mandel's Emmy nomination in a "reality" category is puzzling enough on its own, and it's downright criminal when it takes up a slot that should have gone to The Amazing Race's far superior Phil Keoghan.
Answer: Couldn't agree more about the shameful snub of Phil
Is it just us, or does anyone else think that the lengths our political figures are willing to go to in order to win some love from the American people is getting to the point of sheer ridiculousness? They've been on late shows, SNL, The Daily Show, Colbert Report, even The View. We get it you guys (and gal) are hip and cool. But if you happened to be watching TV last night, you may have noticed that all the current heavy hitters were appearing in some really odd places. First, President Bush showed up on the hit game show, Deal or No Deal, delivering a thank you message to a soldier contestant as well as poking fun at his low approval rating: But the icing on the cake had to be when we saw Hillary, Barack and McCain air a message on WWE Raw the night before the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. Their wrestling jokes were so cringe-worthy, we could barely make it through to McCains bit: Your take: How do you feel about our politicians making so many TV appearances, namel...
Call it "Operation Greenback Freedom." On this Monday's episode of NBC's Deal or No Deal, as Capt. Joseph Kobes a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient who has served in Iraq three times attempts to win enough cash to pay off his parents' home, President Bush appears via video to surprise the war vet with a thank-you for time served and a wish for luck in his quest for big bucks. Bush taped the segment at the White House, and I presume the message was approved by John McCain. MWM
Howie Mandel by Adam Taylor/NBC Photo
Deal or No Deal host Howie Mandel has signed on to star in and executive-produce a new sitcom for NBC. Hoping to make use of Mandel's ad-lib comedic abilities, NBC has given the nod to Howie Do It, an unscripted weekly laffer. J.R. Whalen
Deal or No Deal by Adam Taylor/NBC
Two contestants will need the Force with them in a special, Star Wars-themed, winner-take-all edition of Deal or No Deal airing April 28. Deal will be transformed into a Mecca of Star Wars characters and themes, complete with models dressed as Imperial storm troopers and Princess Leia.Contestant Elyse McCrillis will also get some help from none other than Carrie Fisher the original Princess Leia — who will make a special cameo. Other faves from the franchise Chewbacca and R2D2 will also be on hand for some surprise arrivals. Of course, no Star Wars scene would be complete without Darth Vader: The bad guy steps in as the show's villainous banker.Ready to tune in to your inner, space-savvy dealmaker? The two-hour event airs Monday, April 28 (NBC, 8 pm/ET). Anna Dimond
Howie Mandel by Trae Patton/NBC Photo
"Deal, n'est-ce pas?" For a May-sweeps stunt, NBC's Deal or No Deal is taking the show on the road, into the air and maybe even on a catamaran or two, taping shows in some of the foreign locales that produce their own sometimes "tweaked" versions of the hit program. Setting up shop on Deal sets in Estonia, the Philippines and South Africa, Howie Mandel will guide American contestants through any special foreign rules, while a bevy of indigenous suitcase models fill the stage. "It's been a fun internal thing when we watch clips from the foreign versions," executive producer Scott St. John tells the Reporter, "so we decided we're going to explore the way they do it."Oh goody. I won 1,000,000 kroons.
Skeet Ulrich in Jericho by Cliff Lipson/CBS
Just a thought: If the strike lasts much longer, do you think CBS' Big Brother house has room for all of us? I joke, of course, but I also fear that if things don't get resolved soon, it's going to be a long, cold winter indeed for fans of good old everyday regular non-reality TV.In the last few days, weve seen cliff-hanger episodes of Desperate Housewives and Heroes that felt like season finales, and for all we know, thats what they might be, if production doesnt resume early in the new year for the back half of their seasons. For the first month of the writers strike, viewers didnt feel much pain (except for fans of late-night comedy, the first casualty) because we were in a sweeps month chock-full of original episodes. Life went on as usual. Thats about to end. There are scattered episodes of many series yet to air in December, and a few leftovers for early 2008. But come the new year, the TV landscapes going to start looking mighty diffe...