PASADENA, Calif. - Angry “Guiding Light” fans, upset by that daytime soap’s cancellation, may avoid its replacement, but CBS is betting on making more money off the cheaper-to-produce revival of the game show “Let’s Make a Deal” (10 a.m. EDT weekdays), debuting Monday.
The original, created by Stefan Hatos and Monty Hall, who was the show’s host, premiered in 1963 and ran consistently through 1977. It has been revived several times since, most recently in prime time with Billy Bush as host in 2003.
Hall serves as a consultant on the new version, which will be hosted by Wayne Brady (“Don’t Forget the Lyrics,” “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”).
The game play is the same: Members of the audience, often dressed in crazy outfits, are invited to make a deal, trying their luck at choosing from multiple options, some of which may be unseen and only hinted at. The goal: Get the most you can and avoid worthless “zonks.”
Hall has a saying for hosting the show that Brady has embraced: “The script is up here,” Hall said, pointing to his head during an August CBS press conference.
“The script of the show is the games we play,” Hall said. “(It’s) between you and the people. It depends on their reaction. Their reaction to the choice that they can make, their reaction when the curtain opens up and they see what is behind there and how they change their minds. And the script evolves from their reactions. You have to be the kind of person that can elaborate on that particular situation to amplify what they bring to the party.”
That suits Brady.
“As someone who does improv, that was the best way to snag me in to do the show, saying, 'Hey, we’re going to give you a mike. There is the audience. Have fun,’ “ Brady said, noting it’s an improvement on his last gig, hosting “Lyrics. “You had the songs and I was the traffic cop between the person singing and those songs. That was my job. In this, there is no traffic copping. I am the guy. The action is completely dependent upon my interaction.”
Executive producer Mike Richards said updating the show for 2009 is mostly about finding the right host and coupling that person with classic “Let’s Make a Deal” elements.
“You want it to have that nostalgia because when you say to someone, 'Do you want what’s behind Door No. 1 or Door No. 2?,’ you get that feeling and that anxiety of the jeopardy involved,” he said. “But in the end, it’s about the host.”
With Hall as a consultant, it seems likely that he’ll appear on the new show at some point, just as Bob Barker has returned to “Deal” companion “The Price is Right” to appear alongside new host Drew Carey.
“We’ve talked about it,” Richards said. “The guy wrote the book. ... I absolutely think if there’s a reason to have the legend back on and do some kind of passing of the mike. It would be an opportunity we would definitely seize.”