October 31, 2005 11:00 PM by Joe Blackmon
NBC has named irreverent actor/comedian Howie Mandel ("Hidden Howie") as the host of "Deal or No Deal," its new alternative series from Endemol USA the producers of NBC’s "Fear Factor" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," where contestants play for a top prize worth up to one million dollars in a high-energy match of nerves, instincts and raw intuition.
The announcement was made Monday by Craig Plestis, Senior Vice President, Alternative Programming & Development.
"Howie’s unique comedic instincts make him the perfect fit to preside over this kind of high-octane series where anything can happen," said Plestis. "His trademark is unpredictable humor and dead-on observations that can offset the tense battle of raw nerves associated with so much money at stake."
The series is based on a format from Endemol and is currently a success internationally, being broadcast in 38 countries.
Mandel first rose to prominence with his role as an emergency room doctor on NBC’s classic drama "St. Elsewhere." He is also a successful standup comedian who continues to perform to sold out crowds nationwide. Additionally, Mandel has entertained millions of children with his voiceover work. "Bobby’s World" became a worldwide phenomenon with a popular cartoon series that aired in dozens of countries and a series of best selling DVD’s. His voice was also featured in the animated series "Muppet Babies" and the hit "Gremlins" films.
Mandel frequently appears as a guest and special correspondent on NBC’s "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." On the "Tonight Show," he features his patented hidden camera videos on unsuspecting people. He also is a regular guest host on "Live with Regis & Kelly."
In 1995, Mandel hosted his own daytime talk program "The Howie Mandel Show," and recently starred in the Bravo series "Hidden Howie: The Private Life of a Public Nuisance."
"Deal or No Deal" is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. David Goldberg is the president of Endemol USA. The series is executive-produced by Scott St. John.