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.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Endemol - make DOND a live show before its too late

Following on from Adie's excellent post yesterday, and re-enforcing my post last month, I think Endemol need to make DOND a live show to stop it from falling into suspicion and losing its mass-audience appeal. One of the comments against my last email was that people would become bored by interruptions caused by fluffed lines, or resetting camera angles, etc. But the level of interest gained in Massimo's program, where the fallen box incident was shown almost in its entirety, should put that argument to bed - these interruptions make the show even more compelling. People of my age and older will no doubt remember Jeux Sans Frontier, which was live chaos and not to be missed by a generation of TV viewers.

I completely agree with Adie, and indeed have asked in a number of earlier game reports why we have anyone who knows what is in each box.

Also the swap must be a mandatory part of the process - what should we make of a situation where the swap is not offered, and the low amount is in the player's box?

DOND cannot afford any suggestion of cheating - it has to be clean, and be seen to be clean.

Of course making DOND a live show will necessitate a number of structural changes - Noel cannot be expected to host every show, and the contestants really will be stuck in the famous hotel for weeks, but it can be done, and the choice is to go live or fall into ignominy.


Mister Al said...

I hope you don't mind this, but I have to disagree with pretty much everything you've posted there!

Firstly, the Independent Auditors definitely need to know where the money is. If I were a contestant, I'd feel much happier knowing that there were somebody who is in a position to investigate any anomolies, however unlikely they are to occur. What happens if a box were opened and no label were inside? What about if the same monetary value were in two boxes by mistake? Very unlikely, I know, but with £250k at stake I'd want every tiny possibility covered, and able to be investigated.

Box Swaps I can live without too, purely because they don't change the odds, and I personally like the idea that the player has their own box which the Banker is trying to buy. Otherwise, why allocate a box to the player at all? Why not just ask the player to choose which of all 22 boxes they'd like to open at each stage? The whole 'swap at the end' idea, for me, undermines that whole premise.

You say that the 'Clumsy Tom' incident in Massimo's game was shown "almost in it's entirity". Frankly, I don't know how you can make that claim unless you were at the recording. I can't imagine that the situation would have been resolved in anything like the one or two minutes us viewers were privy to. Certainly it would have taken quite a while for boxes to be taken away, amounts reallocated, boxes brought back, etc.

As for the programme going out live, I think that would put much more pressure on the players than they're already under, and may result in very unsatisfying rushed endings for the viewer. We've all seen programmes like 'Lottery Jet Set' where Eamonn Holmes is constantly telling contestants to hurry up because they're overrunning. Imagine a player having a decision like Micheal's £10,000 offer with £250k-plus-four-blues on the board, or Kirsty's £51,000 offer with a 10% chance of absolute disaster if it were No Dealed. Now imagine being told that you have just 10 or 20 seconds to make your mind up. The player would not have chance to make a considered decision, and the viewer would not have time to indulge in the 'what would I do there?' scenario that we all love thinking about. Also, the joy/heartache of seeing what happens may not have chance to play itself out in a satisfactory manner because it would all be so rushed.

It's not a question of fluffed lines or camera angles -- it's that a live show could run the risk of losing the all-important emotional element of the game. And surely that's why we all watch.

Ìain said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ìain said...

Good for you Mr Al, but I don't think we disagree as much as you suggest.

Adie's post discusses - 'triple-blind' - a well known and valid mechanism, normally relating to drug trials, which could be used for placing the amounts in boxes so that no-one need know the full story and yet giving a high level of confidence that the boxes had been correctly prepared.

The position of always giving the swap, is very similar to the one where it is never given, in that there is consistency in either case - however if the swap is always given then it effectively means that the player is able to 'reach' any box in the game.

By saying almost entirely, I am implying that there were bits edited out.

As for putting the contestants under more pressure, they are currently going through three shows a day.

And finally the point about over-running....good point! Flexible scheduling would be required, but as whatever program follows DOND currently gets an order of magnitude less viewers, I suspect C4 would find a way.

All that said, thank you for your excellent comment.

hywel said...

Firstly, the Tom incident was obviously highly edited from undirected recordings made from cameras where the tape was left rolling and the camera men were astude enough to keep pointing at the action (at times). I think it went on for more like 20 minutes rather than the precise 120 seconds we saw - and many of the crowd cutaways were taken from different times in the recordings, not necessarily the times that the timeline represented - normal practice I hasten to add. Plus - it would have taken significantly longer than shown to re-shuffle the boxes.

I don't think the producers really intended to use the recordings made during the incident until they reviewed what they had on tape later and realised tht they could make something out of it.

As to being live - I've mentioned this before, NO shows of this nature are recorded live by any production company. It's much cheaper to block record several shows in one day both in time and money - studio times are expensive and so are the wages for all concerned. The closest thing to live these days are topical news quizes like Have I Got News For You are recorded the night before and hastily edited overnight.

Even Big Brother "live" shows have at least 3 minute delay in them to prevent disasters from going out on air.

As to how they were able to put together the 2 minute segment we saw on Saturday - this is only a guess. The audio was left recording for the entire duration of what happened but I'm sure there would have been long moments when the cameras were not directed at the action. I suspect a show like this would have two cameras on tape at all times. There's the one the producers call the changes on and one that can be used for cutaways should something go wrong with the producer's edit.

So, from these two tapes and some carefully chosen audience cutaways, they were able to put something coherent together that represented what happened. Good on them, I say.

Some shows stick to the single tape recorder and don't rely on a fallback, but at least two shows I've seen use definitely use multiple tape recordings (Buzzcocks & Millionaire).

JH said...

This show could never be live, as most contestants would have to be there for over a month before they got to play, so anyone with a job would be ruled out!

The only other way to do it would be to not have the contestants opening boxes in the "wings" while they wait for their game, and to use full-time models like the American version. And that would take away much of the appeal of the show - it's much harder to care how someone does if you've never seen them before, compared to when they've been on screen every day for 4 weeks or so.

Anonymous said...

Leaving aside the time tabling difficulities of running the show live - i honestly just don't agree the show risks losing viewers for not being live - those viewers are already clearly watching and have been doing so for months - and its no more edited than any other game show. I think there *is* an argument that going live would *increase* the audience - but thats really a wholey different argument.

I honestly believe DOND is the single most compelling game show I've ever seen - it always has something to sucker punch you with.

Keep up the good work.