NBC Keeps 'Deal' Out Of Summer Lineup

NBC continues to be mindful of ABC's much-chronicled overuse of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" in an attempt to keep "Deal or No Deal" fresh. For the second summer in a row, the network will take the hit game show off the air.

Exceptions will come only on select occasions, when it will serve as lead-ins for summer shows in hopes of giving them a lift.

The network is cautious about overexposing "Deal," especially since it's slated to lead off two nights next fall: Mondays and Wednesdays. NBC learned its lesson from rival ABC, which had a huge hit several years ago in "Millionaire." An overreliance on the once-lucrative show is largely blamed for its demise.

By one measure, the Monday edition of "Deal" is the 22nd-highest-rated show in the coveted 18-to-49 demo with a 4.5 average, behind "Heroes" and "ER" as NBC's best-performing shows (excluding "Sunday Night Football"). In viewers, the Monday show moves up to 14th, with an average of 15 million viewers a week, NBC's most-watched show (after football).

After last night's episode, which led into the season finale of "Heroes," the show will be replaced in its Monday slot by the "Real Wedding Crashers" next week.

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