Welcome to donduk. A refuge for those who enjoy Deal or No Deal, the hit Channel 4 gameshow hosted by Noel Edmonds. The award winning gameshow Deal or No Deal has become a big hit for Channel 4 and marks a sensational return to our screens of Noel Edmonds.

Deal or No Deal is enjoyed my millions of viewers daily, where the contestants battle with The Banker to try and win a jackpot of £250,000. Here at donduk you will find full daily reports of each show, as well Deal or No Deal news and specials. Deal or No Deal although initially appearing very simple in format of just opening a few boxes for the chance to win some big money prizes, actually has some potentially complex decisions to be made at points throughout the show, the contestants occasionally try complex or simple gameplay in an attempt to give them an edge in beating the Banker.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Downward Spiral?

Last week was another relatively unexciting week for DOND, mostly determined by the poor run of boxes than poor play on the contestants' parts. This is most clearly highlighted by the meanness of The Banker's highest offers made during the week which averaged out at just under £20,000, a big drop from the whole series' average of over £28,000. Despite this, the average win last week was only a few hundred pounds short of the full series' average of £16,700, so the players shouldn't feel too bad...

Perhaps the most "newsworthy" event of the week was Patricia failing to take advantage of having the £250,000 in her box. She was the 7th player to have £250,000 in her box to date, though out of 178 games we should statistically have had 8 of these by now (a 1 in 22 chance), so we're due another any time now (though Gaz' £100,000 might have tipped the balance, as that figure has been in the player's box 9 times to date!) Let's hope so, as the trend is definitely for lower and lower wins as the series progresses...

This current run of (relatively) low wins seems to be having an effect on the ratings as reported here recently (http://donduk.blogspot.com/2006/05/please-make-it-live.html), and I agree with our humble blog-leader that Endemol needs to take stock and see what they can do to inject some va-va-voom into the game without destroying its character. An idea I've had would be to allow each player to choose when they get their offers - no, bear with me!

At the moment, offers are made after the opening of 5,3,3,3,3,3 and 3 boxes, followed by "the final showdown" (if the player goes through to the end of course!) Now as we all know, no-one ever deals at the first 3 offers (however good they are) so what good are they? On the other hand, if each player was given a maximum of 7 offers throughout the game to be taken anytime at their discretion, most wouldn't ask for the first offer until the 10th box had been opened anyway, and they could space the rest out according to any tactic they might come up with. This would admittedly complicate a stunningly simple format, but would also add an extra layer of strategy into the game (do you ask for an offer when the mood takes you or save up your offers until towards the end and use them one box at a time as you head to the last 2 boxes?) that could spice things up considerably.

OK, don't shoot me, it's just an idea! Back soon, 'til next time, NO DEAL!


Steve said...

I think you have granted the contestants one offer too many - the offers come after 5, 8, 11, 14, 17 and 20 boxes so there are a total of six offers, not seven.

Your idea is good in theory, but viewers need a regular structure with which to identify - as do the advertisers.

Apropos of absolutely nothing, I played an online version yesterday and took out 10 blues with my first 10 picks. I dealt after 11 boxes and beat the banker.

The game's all about taking the offer that balances risk and reward. Nothing changes that - language, familiarity with the contestants, number of boxes, liveness/pre-recordedness.

If it ain't broke (and I don't think anyone's seriously arguing that it is), don't fix it!

Anonymous said...

Endemol will not do anything because the ratings are not in fact down at all. The actual numbers fluctuate but the audience share, which is far more important in TV terms, is actually up. Fewer people watch tv in the spring/summer but the proportion of people who are watching Deal is up overall. The ratings are still exectional in terms of numbers too of course but the share is around 35 - 40% which is enormous.

√Ćain said...

Another excellent post Adie, I particularly liked the part where you agreed with me ;-)

I think your idea of flexing the offers is really interesting, but if a player asks for an offer, doesn't that signal weakness to the banker?

I think it is hard to improve the formula of DOND (in the UK), but already there are spoilers for various shows, and I suspect that we will all know when the £250,000 is coming up - it will probably be front page of The Sun (in which case someone will have to tell me about it).

But DOND is about a battle between a player and the fates. Its attraction to us is our ability to empathise with the player, and how can that fail to happen if we are witnessing what happens in the same second as the player. People will be screaming at the telly in the firm belief that their positive energy will have an effect on the player's actions, or the outcome.

Endemol have a window of opportunity (you can take the person out of consultancy....) to make the move to a live format, if they wait until viewing figures plummet, then the revenue will not be there to cover the change.

Endemol - Do it now!

JH said...

Viewing figures are always going to fall as the novelty factor wears off, and as someone else has said the seasonal effects are also significant. 3m+ viewers for an afternoon slot remains remarkable. Countdown gets half that and is still seen as a national institution.

A live show would be terrible IMO - no more getting to know contestants waiting in the wings, it would have to be done using models like inferior versions in other countries. Each show would last two hours (which is the estimated filming time I've seen quoted). It would have to be after 9pm due to the language that I'm sure hits the cutting room floor on occasions! Can you think of a solution to those three problems? Otherwise it's an absolute non-starter.

Anonymous said...

Don't shoot me for being Mr Boring but I want to enjoy the positives on this site again rather than see dreams that will never come true get strung out...so here goes....

The show will never be live. With the exception of "specials" which they are bound to do since it's been such a hit. It will never be done live daily. It's is simply not practical. No amount of revenue would cover a daily multicamera gameshow of this scale with these prizes and this many cast and crew. You're talking a billion miles away from what's possible. Look at what you can afford live daily - magazine shows and the news. It isn't possible to do DOND daily. Three shows a day is a stretch in terms of cost already I would say- media press has other countries recording far more and I wouldn't be surprised if the UK have to up it to four or five soon.

I work in computers for TV (and Film) so sorry to sound like a party pooper. I know for a fact they have shows prerecorded now until heading towards Christmas. I know three guys who have operated computers for Endemol shows who told me so. So there you go.

One or two live specials a year maybe, but that's all you will ever get.

For the record everytime I think I'm sick of DOND - I'll get hooked by something that happens again.

It feels live and from what audience people say they broadcast it absolutely faithfully so.. what more can they do?

Adie said...

In real life we all know it will never be a live show for all the reasons m'learned friends have stated, but I don't think it does any harm to think of how the game might be improved, though Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and The Weakest Link seem to have survived perfectly well for long periods with no change whatsoever, so who knows...?

BTW, I'm not sure if this is relevant, but Millionaire allegedly came about when someone said "The National Lottery is all very well, but wouldn't it be even better if you actually saw the winners' faces the moment they won?"

Phil Reynolds said...

I agree with other posters that, in practical production terms, a daily live DOND simply couldn't be made to work. I also think that Adie's idea, interesting though it is (as you might expect - Adie is an anagram of idea, after all :-), would in fact detract from the game's structure and tension. As the game progresses and fewer and fewer boxes are left, it becomes statistically more likely that the next three boxes to be opened will hit one or more of the remaining major reds, which makes no-dealing a progressively higher risk. If players were offered the choice of when to receive offers, they would most likely space them out in the early stages when little risk is involved and then take an offer after every box towards the end - thus evening out the risk and drastically reducing the build-up of tension that is one of the things that make the show so watchable.

Going back to the idea of a live DOND, I actually think the show we see benefits from being recorded and hence edited. How often have you noticed this scenario: The player says 'I'm ready for the question', Noel asks 'Deal or no deal?' - and then instead of answering straight away, the contestant pauses while the music builds and the camera cuts to a series of dramatic close-ups of members of the audience and other players before cutting back to the contestant just before they answer? I'm pretty sure that, in the majority of cases, the contestant (who is by their own words 'ready for the question') has barely paused at all - the apparent delay is simply down to editing. Result: we all hold our breath and the tension is racked up that bit further.

There's no harm whatever in speculating how the show might work if the format were different; but it's worth bearing in mind that most of the obvious ideas will already have been thought of, maybe even tried out, and discarded. Good television like this doesn't just happen by accident; it's the result of careful planning and many months of development, try-outs, pilot recordings and redevelopment before the first broadcast show is ever recorded. Who Wants to be a Millionaire? famously went through major adjustments to the format right up to the last minute before its first broadcast, by some of the best people in the business at getting these things right. That show has also since dabbled with tweaks to the format, including a couple of live specials which, by comparison with the regular show, were pretty dull.