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NBC to debut new Howie Mandel-produced 'Howie Do It' on January 9


By Christopher Rocchio, 11/26/2008 

NBC has announced Howie Do It, a new hidden-camera series starring Deal or No Deal host Howie Mandel, will premiere Friday, January 9 at 8PM ET/PT.

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NBC ordered Howie Do It in April, and the unscripted comedy series will follow Mandel in disguise as he pulls various pranks on unsuspecting victims.

The six-episode series is produced by Mandel's Alevy Production in association with 3 Arts, with Mandel, Scott Hallock, Kevin Healey, Morgan Elliot and Michael Rotenberg serving as executive producers.

Howie Do It will air in the Fridays at 8PM ET/PT timeslot currently held by Deal or No Deal, which will be at least temporarily removed from NBC's regular programming schedule after the holidays. 

Instead, Deal or No Deal will "pop up with specials" rather than airing new episodes in a weekly timeslot, Daily Variety reported Tuesday.  Deal or No Deal premiered on NBC in December 2005 with Mandel at the helm

"Deal can benefit from a rest," NBC programming executive Mitch Metcalf told Variety.  "It's a show that can really work well for us in special situations, and we'll evaluate it as a regular series."

Howie Do It's premiere was announced as part of an overall January 2009 programming announcement in which NBC also announced premiere dates for two other reality series: Superstars of Dance and The Biggest Loser: Couples.

Superstars of Dance, a new dance-themed reality competition series from American Idol creator Simon Fuller and former Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, will premiere Sunday, January 4 at 9PM ET/PT; while The Biggest Loser: Couples' second edition will debut Tuesday, January 6 at 8PM ET/PT.

Noticeably absent from NBC's January 2009 primetime programming schedule is The Celebrity Apprentice's second season, which was ordered last winter and filmed this fall.  Instead, The Celebrity Apprentice's second-season premiere is expected to formally announced when NBC reveals its post-January midseason schedule.

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