Big Deal (game show)

Big Deal
Presented by Mark DeCarlo
Narrated by John Cramer
Country of origin USA
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 6
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Stone-Stanley Productions, New World Entertainment
Original network FOX
Original release September 1 – October 6, 1996
Preceded by Let's Make a Deal (1963-1977, 1980-1981, 1984-1986, 1990-1991)
Followed by Let's Make a Deal (2003)

Big Deal is a television game show that aired Sunday at 7:00 in the United States for six weeks in 1996 on FOX. It was hosted by Mark DeCarlo and packaged by Stone-Stanley Productions, with swing group Big Bad Voodoo Daddy as the house band.

Due to low ratings, it only lasted six episodes (only three of which were seen in their entirety by East Coast viewers, due to NFL doubleheaders). It was announced in TV Guide that the show would return in 1997 in a half-hour format with Heidi Mark joining DeCarlo as co-host, but it didn't return to the schedule.


The show's format followed that of Let's Make a Deal; however, stunts similar to those featured on Truth or Consequences were also played. Some of these stunts were played in order to earn a smaller prize, which could then be gambled for an unknown behind a curtain or a box, and other stunts awarded different prizes based on how well (or how poorly) the contestant performed.

Some of the games played involved the contestants participating in the studio itself:

Notable to many of these stunts was the overt destruction by the contestant to his own property in an attempt to win a better prize. Examples of such stunts included:

  • Throwing baseballs at the windows of one's house in order to win new furnishings (and new windows) for the home;
  • Destroying one's own automobile with a sledgehammer - if the car was judged by an insurance appraiser - (Tim Davis from SCA Appraisal Company) [1] to be totaled, the contestant won a brand new car;
  • Dropping one's own possessions (such as TV's, golf clubs, etc.) off of a crane onto a giant tic-tac-toe board; getting three in a row won a larger prize package.

While DeCarlo played up the fact that losing one of these games resulted in nothing more than a tragic loss, a disclaimer at the end of every episode stated that contestants who damaged their own possessions would be reimbursed money according to the value of their belongings before they were destroyed.

The Big Deal

The Big Deal of the evening was played like earlier versions of Let's Make a Deal. DeCarlo would go back into the audience and invite contestants who had won something to trade their prize(s) in for a shot at the Big Deal, starting with the top winner and working downward. After two players were selected, they were presented with three large screens, one of which contained the Big Deal, a prize package usually worth more than any other prize offered that day. The top winner got first selection, and the contents of each of the three screens were revealed, usually in ascending order.


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