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LAS VEGAS (CAP) - Looking to regain some success similar to their former hit gameshow Deal Or No Deal, NBC has announced that Howie Mandel will also host a new gamshow called Pudgy Or Pregnant. NBC CEO Jeff Zucker made the announcement at the annual National Association of Television Program Executives conference.
"We must acknowledge that Americans want television they can relate to," Zucker said during his keynote speech. "And honestly, who can really relate to beautiful models holding the key to a million dollars?
"But how many of us have walked down the street, looked at a fat woman and thought - I wonder if she's just pregnant?" Zucker told a packed room at the Mandalay Bay Resort. "And starting this fall, you can win money for wondering that."
The show is loosely based on a similar program called Plump Or Preggers? that aired in the UK back in 2008. The British version featured contestants who made their selections from video footage of unwitting women on the street and winners were picked based on how their votes matched up against the studio audience.
However, Plump Or Preggers? was canceled after just three episodes due to pressure from privacy and women's advocacy groups. Howie Mandel told CAP News the US version shouldn't have the same problem.
"All of our women are there because they want to be," said Mandel. "Perhaps they're trying to exorcize some sort of self-esteem demons, or maybe they're living in some serious denial.
"Or maybe it's the money we're waving in front of their pudgy little faces," Mandel added. "Whatever gets them in the door."
The premise of Pudgy is similar to Deal in that each of 20 or so women hold a briefcase that contains a placard stating whether they're pregnant or simply overweight. After making off-color comments about some of the women, the contestants take an inordinate amount of time to pick one of the women to open her briefcase and hopefully reveal that she is overweight, not pregnant.
Dollar totals increase with each successful pick until hopefully just the pregnant woman is left standing on the stage. The contestant can win additional money for then correctly identifying how far along in the pregnancy the woman is.
"It sounds a lot easier than it really is," said Mandel. "I mean, you throw a fairly chunky woman who's pregnant into the mix - and you just can't tell. Plus when the emotions start to run, it really is some good TV."
Pudgy Or Pregnant will launch directly into syndication with twice-weekly shows starting shortly after Labor Day.
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