Using a combination of random selection and multiple choice questions, 26 contestants are selected for the podium, from which only one will progress to the Deal Round. In this round, the ... See full summary »
Using a combination of random selection and multiple choice questions, 26 contestants are selected for the podium, from which only one will progress to the Deal Round. In this round, the contestant selects one briefcase from 26, and the amount of money in their chosen briefcase is revealed through a process of elimination, by first opening up the other 25 briefcases. As each briefcase is selected, the podium player with that briefcase guesses what amount is in it, winning money if their guess is correct. From time to time, the bank will make offers to buy the contestant's briefcase. When each offer comes in, the contestant has to make one decision - Deal or No Deal. Written by
The 5:30pm time slot has been filled with a game show for as long as I can remember. But, in this pre-dinner after-work time, light entertainment has to be the main purpose of the show - recall the disastrous short season of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire at 5:30 on channel 9. As such, a good host is the key to success. Channel 7 was for so long unable to compete with Channel 7 - I cannot even remember who hosted Wheel of Fortune, but they were certainly nowhere near as enjoyable as John Burgess or Larry Emdur.
Enter Andrew O'Keefe. People didn't enjoy watching him in an hour-long show after dinner on a Sunday night - nobody's been at work on Sunday, and they wouldn't mind exercising their minds a bit. But then they slotted him into the 5:30 time slot, and wonderful things began to happen.
People either love him or hate him. I fall under the former category. His quirky, loud and friendly style of hosting has allowed him to control Deal or No Deal audiences and contestants alike, producing the ultimate light entertainment show. Furthermore, over the two years of the 5:30 version of the show, we have seen it morph into his image - most noticeable was the personification of the anonymous "bank" into the evil miser Walter P. Smythe.
O'Keefe has achieved three things in his time at Deal or No Deal. Firstly, he has catapulted himself into the limelight as Channel 7's most entertaining personality, having since appeared in the three-network tsunami telethon and the celebrity spelling bee with positive results. Secondly, he has temporarily halted the career of Larry Emdur - they tried to alter the Price Is Right to make it more like Deal or No Deal, not realising that O'Keefe was the problem, and that Larry simply couldn't out-charm him; Channel 9 is now going to try to win back audiences with Bert Newton, and as charismatic as he is, I cannot see Bert pulling in the younger crowd. Thirdly, he helped the world see how powerful a show Deal or No Deal can be, given the right host; we have since seen versions premiere successfully in the US and UK, but only after O'Keefe and Australia spent two years putting in the ground work.
The actual 'game' part of the game show is irrelevant; I get my 'game' show from Temptation and Jeopardy! (from the US). Deal or No Deal gives us the 'show' part of game show, and for that it receives 9/10.
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