Deal or No Deal (Australian game show)
|Deal or No Deal|
The logo for Deal or No Deal Australia
|Presented by||Andrew O'Keefe|
Walter P. Smyte (The Bank)
|Narrated by||Marcus Irvine (2003-2011)
John Deeks (2012-2013)
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||11|
|No. of episodes||2,222|
|Location(s)||Global Television studios, South Melbourne, Victoria|
|Running time||30 minutes per episode
|Production company(s)||Endemol Southern Star (2003–2009)
Southern Star Group (2009–2013)
|Original channel||Seven Network|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)|
|Original run||13 July 2003– 31 December 2013|
|Related shows||Deal or No Deal|
Deal or No Deal is an Australian game show that airs on the Seven Network. It was the first international version of the game show, after the original Dutch version. It was the first of the versions to use the Deal or No Deal name. The show was recorded at the studio facilities of Global Television located in the Melbourne suburb of Southbank. The top prize of $200,000 has been won by four contestants.
Many changes were made to Deal or No Deal during its rein. These included changing from a weekly format to a daily format; interactive features inviting home viewers to play along with "Double Deal Friday"; and additional special features added to the game (such as "Double or Nothing" and "Super Case"). The show has included many special episodes including several hour-long prime-time specials (such as the "Psychics Special" and the "Unluckiest Players Special") and the successful Dancing with the Deals which occurred in conjunction with Dancing with the Stars.
The program celebrated its 1,000th episode on 8 September 2008; that day's contestant won $43,000.
The show begins in a studio with six groups of 26 people sitting in stands. One group is then randomly selected, who move onto the podium. In the chosen group, one person, based on personality, is picked to be the main contestant. The contestant selects one of the briefcases to be placed at the front, and the other briefcases are distributed to the other 25 contestants on the podium. Each briefcase contains a hidden amount of money (see table on right).
The contestant begins the game by opening six cases. To open the case, the podium player holding the case must first guess the amount that they have in their briefcase, winning $500 if their guess is proved correct upon opening the briefcase. This process is repeated for the next five cases. After the first six cases, the major contestant is given a "Bank Offer," based on (but not equivalent to) the arithmetic mean of the remaining briefcases: the higher the values in the remaining briefcases, the higher the offer. The contestant now has to decide between a "Deal" or "No Deal". If the contestant says Deal, they win the money that is offered, and they must open the rest of the cases to see if they made the right decision. If the contestant says No Deal, then play continues. The contestant chooses another five cases, followed by another bank offer, then four cases. This pattern continues until all briefcases have been opened. If the player continues to the end without making a "Deal", the game ends with their own briefcase being opened and the amount in that briefcase being won. Exceptions to the end of the game include the introduction of either a Super Case, Double or Nothing cases or a second Chance. See below for more information on them. After every game a large fake cheque is given to the contestant displaying the amount of money won. Occasionally, the money is given directly to the contestant, such as a single $1 coin if somebody wins $1.
|Briefcase values (as of 2006 –2013)|
The Australian version of Deal or No Deal has a number of special features to make the show entertaining: Super Case, Chance, Double or Nothing and Risk it All all occur at the end of the game. Due to time restrictions, these four occur rarely. Also, only one of these features is used per episode.
Occasionally at the end of the program a Super Case is brought out. This feature was introduced in 2004. Contestants have the opportunity to either keep the deal they made or forfeit it and take whatever value is hidden in the Super Case. The Super Case contains one of the following values: 50c, $50, $500, $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $30,000, $50,000. Super Cases appear in most episodes when contestants take a deal of approximately $10,000 when there are at least five cases left on the board, and rarely appear in any other circumstances. This means that the Super Case offers a 50/50 chance at bettering or equalling the $10,000 deal. If contestants take a $10,000 deal with fewer than four cases left on the board, Super Cases are rare because there is not generally any time left in the show to run it. During the 2006 season, the way of telling the contestant that a Super Case will be brought out changed, where instead of the Super Case panel flashing, a Super Case alert flashes beside the 'Cases remaining' panel, and remains there until it is actually brought out. In 2010 the Super Case has been used more frequently.
At the start of the game the host, Andrew, will reveal it's a "Fantastic Four day!" and the 50c, $1000, $750 are replaced by "Fantastic" $50000, "Fantastic" $75000 and "Fantastic" $100000 respectively. The $200000 remains unchanged. Fantastic four was introduced in 2011 and occurs sometimes.
This feature was introduced in 2004. A Chance is an opportunity for the contestant to exchange the deal they took during the game for whatever is in their briefcase. It happens rarely, and only when the two remaining unknown case values are an extremely small amount and an amount of at least $5,000. For example, the contestant takes a deal of $8,000, but is offered a Chance with the remaining unopened briefcases being $500 and $20,000. If the contestant takes the Chance, they win either $500 or $20,000, depending on which value is in their selected briefcase. If they don't take the Chance, they keep their $8,000 deal.
Double or Nothing
Double or Nothing was added in 2006. If a contestant is lucky enough to play it, two suitcases (labeled I and II) are offered to the contestant; one has the word "Double" inside, the other has "Nothing". If the contestant chooses to play they must pick one of the cases. If Double is in the chosen case, the contestant doubles their winnings. If Nothing is in the chosen case, they lost all their winnings.
The format for Double or Nothing has been altered several times. When it was first introduced, there was only one case brought out (which was the same size as the Super Case). It had only either "Double" or "Nothing" inside, and the contestant could choose how much to gamble. If "Double" was inside, the contestant wins how much they gambled as a bonus. If "Nothing" was revealed, they would lose how much they gambled from their Deal. The "two cases" format was introduced on 23 June 2006. During the 2007 season, Double or Nothing returned, though the contestant could no longer choose how much to gamble, instead having to risk their entire Deal if they wanted to play Double or Nothing. If the contestant opens the case with "Nothing", they do not win any money.
Risk it All
Risk it All was introduced in 2010. This feature allows the contestant who took a deal for under $10,000 and has only two amounts smaller than their deal in play, to win a cash prize of $15,000. If the contestant takes the Risk it All, they can guess which amount is in their case. If they guess correctly, they win the $15,000. If they guess incorrectly, they lose all their winnings.
Switch Case was introduced in 2010. At any point during the game, the banker may offer this switch. If the contestant takes it, they can swap their chosen case for any unopened case on the podium. It usually occurs during the middle of the game.
Dash for Cash
Dash for Cash was introduced in 2013. Near the end of game if the contestant has a maximum prize of $5,000 or less the banker may offer a prize around half of the current maximum prize on the board rather than a normal offer. There are usually two more prizes higher than this offer. The contestant may take the money and will forfeit the remainder of the game.
Second Chance was introduced in 2013. At the end of the game on rare occasions the banker may offer a second chance. A dealette gives a button to the contestant, who can press it to swap their done deal and for one of the amounts offered to him during the game, selected at random.
This feature was introduced in 2004. At random intervals during the game, the bank will offer a "Mega-Guess", which increases the "correct guess" bonus for the next case to either $2,000, $5,000, or $10,000. The Mega-Guess is usually used at the end of the game to fill in remaining time. This generally happens when the podium player is a friend or relative of the main contestant. The end of game Mega-Guess has adopted a small gag where either the podium player, main contestant, or O'Keefe himself must beg the banker to give the player a Mega-Guess.
The Mega-Guess feature has been altered several times during its history. When first introduced, during the $12 Million Month special, it had a fixed amount win of $10,000. When it returned in the 2005 season, the amount won was reduced to $5,000. In the 2006 season, it was altered to its current format, where either $2,000 (Blue), $5,000 (Maroon), or $10,000 (Green) could be won. The $5,000 Mega-Guess has the most common appearance, sometimes showing up several times during a game, followed by the $10,000 Mega-Guess which would appear once early during the game, and sometimes at the end. The $2,000 Mega-Guess usually appears for podium players celebrating birthdays or people from states other than Victoria after a contestant selects them.
In July 2008, a $25,000 Mega-Guess was offered for the 25,000th case opened in the show's history, but it was not won. Andrew tried to break the cheque in half but failed to do so.
This feature was introduced in 2004, but was removed in 2006. One of the briefcases (except for the CAR, $100,000 or $200,000 cases) contained gold-coloured dollar signs around the cash value inside the case. The person who was holding this case (be it a podium player or the contestant) received the Daily Prize of $500. The Daily Prize was removed in 2006, although prizes were still awarded several times during that year: in a special Saint Patrick's Day-themed episode; on Mother's Day; and during the last week of the 2006 season.
Double Deal Friday
Double Deal Friday ran in 2007 but was dropped after 2008. Home viewers were invited to ring a phone number charged at $0.55 and register their details. Every Friday, a home viewer was randomly selected to win the same prize as the studio contestant. Host O'Keefe had mentioned that Double Deal Fridays received over 100,000 calls each week. Dancing with the Deals (the celebrity version of DoND) followed a similar format to Double Deal Friday, except that the celebrity didn't win the prize.
The first incarnation of Deal or No Deal originally debuted in late 2003 as an hour-long program. Screening on Sunday night, it indirectly competed with the Nine Network's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? by offering a maximum prize of $2,000,000. In order to fill the longer timeslot, the initial stages of the game were significantly longer than in the current half hour format. This included an interview with the man who supposedly placed the values into each briefcase, assuring that selection were indeed random. The preliminary round was also longer than the more recent format. Due to poor ratings, this incarnation of the show only lasted for one season. In the second episode, a contestant won $515,000, which currently stands as the biggest amount of money ever won on the Australian version of Deal or No Deal, and at the time was the biggest amount of money won on any Australian TV show.
In 2004 Deal or No Deal was shortened to a half-hour format and moved to weeknights at 5:30 pm, directly competing against the Nine Network's The Price Is Right. This incarnation of the show was more successful than the first. Due to the increased number of episodes airing (5 per week over the course of the ratings period rather than 1 per week). The maximum cash prize was lowered from $2,000,000 to $200,000 and the number of blocks reduced from eight to six (200 potential contestants reduced to 150). Deal or No Deal received high ratings in its newly revised format. Shortly after the popularity of Deal or No Deal began to rise, The Price Is Right altered its showcase round to a similar format, where contestants were forced to choose between cash incentives or the showcase periodically as the prices were lit up. Despite this Deal or No Deal continued to grow in popularity, and is believed to be a factor involved in the ratings resurgence of Seven News (which followed directly after Deal or No Deal). The popularity of the show led to Nine Network game show rivals The Price Is Right, Million Dollar Wheel of Fortune and the half-hour version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? being cancelled. However, the ratings of Deal or No Deal dropped due to the popularity of the rival Nine Network show Millionaire Hot Seat.
Rival Nine Network for many years has produced various game shows for the 5:30 pm timeslot, notable game shows include Burgo's Catch Phrase hosted by John Burgess, and The Price Is Right Hosted by Larry Emdur. Both game shows were successful in the ratings, in 2005 The Price Is Right was cancelled, due to Larry Emdur signing a contract with the Seven Network, Emdur hosted Wheel of Fortune, which was cancelled only a few months later due to declining ratings, after Wheel of Fortune was axed, the Seven Network introduced Deal or No Deal in the 5:30 pm timeslot, Which was a high success in the ratings, and overtaking the Nine Network's Bert's Family Feud, which was axed in 2007. In 2008 the Nine Network revived Wheel of Fortune, it was renamed as Million Dollar Wheel of Fortune, which did poorly in the ratings, and resulted in the show being axed. After Million Dollar Wheel of Fortune, the Nine Network introduced Millionaire Hot Seat, which has resulted in much higher ratings, and since 2010, has started to overtake Deal or No Deal.
The game shows ratings mainly contribute to the 6:00 pm news bulletins ratings that air immediately after the game shows.
Many alterations to the game have been made throughout the years, mainly to entice viewers away from other game shows, including the briefcase values (see below), and the addition of many new game play features (see Features). During the 2004 $12 Million Month, the Super Case, Chance and Mega-Guess features were introduced, and have become recurring segments ever since. In 2005, a car was introduced as a prize (replacing the $25,000 cash prize from the 2004 board). The cars have been the Peugeot 307 from 2005-2007 (briefly replaced by the Renault Mégane II in 2005), the Peugeot 306 in 2008, the Peugeot 207 in 2009, the Peugeot 206 in 2010 and the Peugeot 207CC from 2011 onwards, all valued at more than the cash prize which is $30,000. In 2006, Double or Nothing was introduced to the show. Since the 2007 season, the game's format has remained the same. The only changes in the 2007 and 2008 seasons was a logo change in 2007, the removal of the preliminary quiz (which determined who would be the main contestant) and on-screen graphics and music which have been updated several times. Double Deal Friday was dropped in 2008. In 2009, not only was the layout of the money board and the cases changed, but also, once a case is opened, instead of closing it and putting it on the table, the case is remained opened to let the contestant know what cases still remain.
There have been five winners of the top prize: Dean Cartechini on 17 June 2004, Anh Do in a celebrity special on 19 September 2007, Leanne Benbow on 2 June 2010 and Chris Doyle on 23 August 2011. The fifth winner is unknown. Andrew mentioned a fifth winner on 20 May 2013.
The biggest ever winner is Nathan Cochrane who won $515,000 on The Deal in 2003 on the second episode. At the time, the top prize was $2,000,000.
On 3 July 2012, a contestant was offered $-150 after knocking out the $200,000 on his first selection along with $75,000 and $50,000 in the first round, making it the lowest bank offer in the history of Deal or No Deal.
Since October 2013, Channel 7 has been airing repeats as the show is no longer in production.
In some episodes, during the 2008-2011 shows, the presenter revealed that it was "Double Shot" day, when the 50c amount would be replaced by a second $200,000 amount. The briefcase read "Double Shot $200,000". This only occurred when Channel Seven was competing against Channel Nine's game show in the 5:30 pm timeslot, eg. Million Dollar Wheel of Fortune, Millionaire Hot Seat (also during "Dancing with the Deals" and "Footy Finals Fever").
2006 – 2013
References in popular culture
Andrew O'Keefe appeared as himself in the Australian comedy Kath & Kim, reprising his role as host of Deal or No Deal. Character Sharon Strzelecki (portrayed by Magda Szubanski) appeared as the main contestant and Kim Craig (Gina Riley) appeared as the podium player. Sharon wins the $20,000 directly from her case (though the footage of her winnings was never shown). Several changes are made to the fictional game play compared to the real life game play, as Kim was never given an opportunity to make a guess for her case, and Sharon claims in the episode that she became the contestant by having the "fastest fingers" (the preliminary quiz was dropped from the 2007 season, and the fictional game shown was clearly the 2007 version). References to the real life version are made, as Andrew tells the girls that it's "almost news time", as the real life show was then broadcast before the news.
Products based on the Australian Deal or No Deal include a board game, electronic game, and DVD game.
The board game, made by Crown and Andrews, is a game that features all parts of the game show. The contents include the 26 briefcases (a flat item that has a number and a slot to put the card of the cash amounts), the board showing the amounts, 26 covers, host and contestant cards, amount cards, instructions, and money.
A Nintendo DS version of the game is available in Australia and contains Andrew O'Keefe on the cover. The game is very similar to the UK's versions, with the same character sprites but with Australia's cases from 2007.