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Let's Make a Deal (1990)


Producer: Hatos-Hall
Host: Dick Clark/Ron Greenberg
Announcer: Dean Miuccio
Models: Georgia Sattelle, Diane Klimaszewski, Elaine Klimaszewski
Taping Info: June 4, 1990 at Disney MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida
Made it to Air: This version made the air on July 9, 1990, staying in the NBC daytime lineup until January 11, 1991. During the run, Monty Hall returned as host, replacing Bob Hilton.
Other Pilots: The original recipe 1963 version as well as the 2009 revival had pilots as well.

1990 sure seemed to be a year of everything old is new again. To Tell the Truth was back on the air, Match Game was coming soon, so it was time for Let's Make a Deal to take a chance. However, Monty Hall had little to do with this version, as it was produced by Dick Clark and Ron Greenberg. Bob Hilton, picking his wardrobe from the Doug Llewellyn collection, is your host.

Right off the bat this is not your mother's Deal. It's being produced in Florida, complete with a passel of Disney characters on stage as well as three models, including what would become the Coors Twins (who, if the internet is to believed, were 18 at the time of this taping). They appear on stage at the beginning with the Disney characters, dancing awkwardly as Elaine Benes.

However, the game play is not that different from your mother's Deal. The first game involved a single contestant who resisted the lure of "behind the door" all three times to keep $500. Too bad there were cars behind each door. The second contestant was a not really dressed up couple, which played a money tree, picking envelopes a la a Barry-Enright bouns game, trying to accumulate $1,000 while avoiding a zonk. They were successful, and saw their earnings increased to $10,000.

The third deal showed that the announcer was purely in the booth, as the on-the-floor assistance was provided by one of the models. Also a new wrinkle for this game was the use of a video screen to show the possible prize (exercise equipment), rather than using a door. This game was played by two contestants roughly in parallel, allowing four possible players for The Big Deal.

The winners of the $10,000 decided to try for the Big Deal, as well as the first player. The non-selected door contained a hot tub and a cruise for $6,928. Like the Monty Hall version, the lower prize of the ones picked was shown first (a set of luggage, a camcorder and a Riviera cruise for a deal value of $7,444). Our decliner of the cars ended up being the big winner of artwork, a trip to the Kentucky Derby and a Camaro worth a total of $25,000. The show concluded with the audience deals.

The big thing this game was missing was energy. Since it was held in a large theater type setting rather than an intimate studio, the noise level was always on, forcing any exciting elements to be somewhat muted as to not overwhelm. The rather bland hosting of Bob Hilton was an issue was well, as his delivery and suspense building skills were not on par with the master himself. The show would last six months, including a host change midway through, until NBC decided to give up game shows at 10 AM and replaced it with Trialwatch.

This pilot has been viewed 7712 times since October 6, 2008 and was last modified on Dec 15, 2009 21:38 ET
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