One Question…. Deal or No Deal

“22 identically sealed boxes, but only one question….”

Deal or No Deal. Possibly the most successful game show of all time. Originally from Holland and made by the formats giant Endemol, the show is now broadcast in over 65 countries with some having 2 formats of the show. Over $560million in prize money has been given out to contestants and over 150,000 episodes of the show has been broadcast around the world.

The premise is very simple. Open boxes to reveal money amounts ranging from low to high, then after each round (5 boxes first round, 3 boxes per round there-after) you get an offer from “the banker” which tempts you to either leave the show there and take his offer, or continue to try and get a bigger amount. Such a simple format, which is very easy viewing which is probably why it’s done so well around the world. Another reason may be the adrenaline rush that you get from watching it. I watch it every night, some times it makes me very angry and shout and other times it makes me feel happy. It’s strange how it can have that effect on you. I also sometimes put myself in the contestants shoes and think ‘I could have done better’ but it’s very easy to say that when in your own home!

For me, the one thing that makes me excited is that you don’t necessarily have to get the £250,000 jackpot to win. If you take the best offer, at the right time you know that it’s the most you could of got during the game. You need A LOT of luck during the game, and contestants that have ‘a system’ make me feel sick. There is no right or wrong way to play the game!

Here is my summary of why the show is successful, especially in the UK.

  • Noel Edmonds. The ever-so charismatic host. A TV legend in the UK due to a history of successful shows. People do watch the show just to see Noel.
  • Contestants back storys. It gets the viewer emotional attached.
  • A catchy tagline. “22 identically sealed boxes, but only one question….Deal, or No Deal”
  • Audience participation. Both the contestants and Noel ask them for their opinions on the state of the game.
  • Gambling. Do you take the offer and carry on? Will you regret not taking the huge sum of money only to be left with 10p?
  • The cruel glimmer of hope that may vanish.
  • The set, the boxes, the music, the camera shots. It all adds to the tension for both the contestants and audience.
  • The Banker. The person who can change the contestants feelings and thoughts within the second of his offer.

As a show, Deal or No Deal could go on for a long long time. It has that re-playability that timeless classics have (Jeopardy, Millionaire etc) and the only thing that could spoil it, is changing the simple gameplay and the host, especially in the UK. For me, it’s the number 1 game show on TV. It plays with your emotions and can drive you mad sometimes, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!


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