Howie Mandel Howie Mandel

Howie Mandel is back in the hidden camera business, this time at Fox.

Mandel is the host and an executive producer of Mobbed, which incorporates "flash mob" elements into the classic hidden camera genre. The reality special will get a plum time slot, airing Thursday, March 31 at 9 p.m. (ET) on Fox, behind American Idol. Mobbed replaces a previously announced sneak preview of Jamie Foxx's still-untitled sketch comedy show, which Fox said will now premiere in June instead.

Mobbed will feature Mandel and a cast of hundreds as they surprise unwitting family members or friends with out-of-the-blue performances that lead to a big reveal. Among the possibilities: Song-and-dance numbers may inform a husband that his wife is pregnant or an applicant that she got the job.

The hour special will follow participants as they rehearse their routines. "It's so exciting to be a part of this huge musical spectacle never before attempted on this scale," Mandel says. As flash mobs have grown in popularity, shows like Modern Family have incorporated them into storylines, while several producers have put shows like this in development.

Mandel's past prank series include NBC's Howie Do It and the special Hidden Howie, while his other recent credits include Deal Or No Deal and America's Got Talent.

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