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NBC Insider Deal or No Deal Island

What’s the Deal With Deal or No Deal's Whole Deal?

Deal or No Deal is coming back in a brand new competition series, Deal or No Deal Island. But first, let's return to the classics.

By James Grebey
Howie Mandel posing with his arms out with the Briefcase Models wearing red dresses in the background.

Deal or No Deal, the game show that was a sensation in the second half of the 2000s and continued strong through the following decade, is coming back with a tropical twist. Deal or No Deal Island, which premieres in February 2024, pits 13 players against one another in a season-long attempt to win the Banker’s riches on a private island. But, before opening up the metaphorical briefcase containing the new show, which is hosted by Joe Manganiello, it’s worth refreshing yourself on the original series. 

When Did Deal or No Deal Premiere?

How to Watch

Watch Deal or No Deal Island on NBC and Peacock.

Deal or No Deal originated as a Dutch game show of the same name in the early ‘00s, but it made its way to the United States in 2005 with Howie Mandel as the host. Originally premiering on NBC on December 19, 2005, Deal or No Deal was airing twice a week (at least!) during the peak of its popularity. In its original prime-time format, the show ran for four seasons, averaging upwards of 10 million viewers per episode.

RELATED: Deal or No Deal is Back with an Island Twist — and Joe Manganiello as Host 

This original Deal or No Deal ended in 2009 and was followed by a syndicated version, also hosted by Mandel, that ran for two seasons. In 2018, the show was revived for a fifth season. Deal or No Deal Island will be the next continuation of the show, and although Mandel isn’t hosting, he serves as a producer. 

How Does the Original Deal or No Deal Work?

Howie Mandel smiling with his arms crossed on the set of Deal or No Deal.

In the original show, contestants would stand before a group of 26 models, each of whom was carrying a briefcase. Inside each briefcase was a number representing an amount of money between $0.01 to $1,000,000. As the game progressed, the contestants would choose one of the briefcases — the content of which they don’t know until it’s opened — to eliminate it from contention. If one contestant were to be perfectly lucky, they would eliminate all of the lower-value cases until only one, the million-dollar one, was left. 

However, this would be quite a feat, and that’s where the titular deal came into play. At varying points in the game, a mysterious "Banker" would offer contestants a cash amount to quit the game — typically some sort of average of the remaining cases that were left in play. So, if the Banker offered a contestant a sizable fee, only for them to turn it down and then eliminate one of the high-value briefcases, that would mean the Banker’s next offer would be lower. 

If the contestant refused every single deal the Banker offered and was left with only one case, they had one final decision to make: take the final remaining case or the first one they eliminated. The game ended when the player either accepted the Banker’s deal or accepted whatever was left in the final case — hopefully a lot of money and not a measly cent! 

What Was the Deal With the Models?

The Deal or No Deal briefcase models wearing magenta dresses and lined up in numerical order.

Each of the briefcases was held by a glamorous model. Each model held the same numbered case all season. Some models held their cases for four or five seasons, while other cases were held by a different model every year. 

The most notable model to hold a case was, famously, Meghan Markle, who held briefcase No. 24 in Season 2. Markle would go on to become the star of the hit USA Network series Suits. Oh, and also she would marry Prince Harry and become the Duchess of Sussex, a member of the British Royal family. 

Markle is not expected to return for Deal or No Deal Island. 

How Can I Watch Deal or No Deal?

Deal or No Deal is streaming on Peacock. Deal or No Deal Island will premiere with a 90-minute special at 9:30 p.m. on Monday, February 26, 2024. Following this supersized first episode, subsequent episodes will air on its regularly scheduled timeslot starting on Monday, March 4 at 10 p.m.