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Fox and Howie Mandel Assemble Flash-Mob Special

Howie Mandel really loves himself some hidden cameras. A few years back, he starred in an NBC series called Howie Do It that made liberal use of unseen cameras; he's also done a similar shtick for Jay Leno. Now Mandel's going undercover again: Vulture hears Fox plans to air a one-hour special hosted and produced by Mandel combining hidden cameras and flash mobs. Dubbed Mobbed, the show will let folks surprise their friends and families with good news via massive song-and-dance spectaculars. Each hour will chronicle rehearsals for the flash mob, with hidden cameras then capturing the big event and the reaction of those being surprised. While Mobbed is just a one-off special for now, it could become a series if it does well enough. Fox is certainly giving the show a great shot at finding an audience: It will air Thursday, March 31 at 9 p.m., right after American Idol. The network had planned to use that plum post-Idol slot to preview a new sketch-comedy show produced by Jamie Foxx; that series is still scheduled to air in June.

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation