Howie Mandel Gets a Big Head in Times Square

As 'Deal or No Deal' Teams With Toys 'R' Us

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Despite a fourth-place showing in overall ratings last season, NBC has a huge hit on its hands with game-show sensation "Deal or No Deal." Last week's second-season launch of the high-stakes game show was a winner in all of its time slots, with host Howie Mandel back at the helm.
Howie and his big head.
Howie and his big head.

Chance to win $1 million
Now NBC is sharing its out-of-the-box success with the rest of the country in a nationwide promotion with Toys 'R' Us stores -- the two are partnering to provide toy shoppers with the chance to win $1 million, among other prizes. The promotion will officially kick off Oct. 1 when game pieces are inserted in the Toys 'R' Us ads of more than 140 million newspaper circulars. The contest will continue through Saturday, Oct. 28.

The promotion was announced yesterday afternoon at the center of the toy universe, Toys 'R' Us Times Square, where Mr. Mandel and NBC Television Group CEO Jeff Zucker were on hand to launch the show's in-store promotion and new line of home board games.

Speaking to MediaWorks in the middle of Times Square while facing a giant billboard of his bald head, Mr. Mandel chatted briefly about his hit show.

MediaWorks: So the new board games, in-store promotion and success of "Deal or No Deal" are kind of reminiscent of "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire." Do you aspire to ...

Howie Mandel: ... be Regis Philbin? I hope so. I wouldn't mind being more like him.

MediaWorks: But now that your show's on three nights a week, do you worry there's a chance for overexposure?

Howie Mandel: I don't know about that because I don't have a programming background. But I do know it's an unbelievable opportunity and it's been the best job you can think about.

MediaWorks: Do you feel the success of the show is due to your involvement at all?

Howie Mandel: I am the show. [Laughs] No, I'm just one cog in the wheel. It's an incredible show. It's wonderful to be part of something the whole family can sit and watch together. I was lucky to be asked to host it.

MediaWorks: Where do you see your career going from here?

Howie Mandel: It doesn't get bigger than this. People are afraid of too much success in this business; they say you'll get a big head. [Points to billboard.] Well, I have one now. Literally.
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