|Walter P. Smythe|
|Marcus Irvine (2003-2011)|
John Deeks (2012-2013)
|Endemol Southern Star (2003–2009)|
Southern Star Group (2009–2013)
Deal or No Deal was a show with a unique format. No knowledge or reflexes needed, just pure luck and good decision-making skills. A contestant was faced with a large number of briefcases with a money amount contained in each as well as a mysterious banker.
|Briefcase values (2006–2013)|
The show began in a studio with six groups of 26 people sitting in stands. One group would be randomly selected, and moved onto the podium. In the chosen group, one person, based on personality, would be picked to be the main contestant. The contestant selected one of the briefcases to be placed at the front, and the other briefcases were distributed to the other 25 contestants on the podium. Each briefcase contained a hidden amount of money (see table on right).
The contestant began the game by opening six cases. To open the case, the podium player holding the case first had to guess the amount that was in their briefcase, winning $500 if their guess is proved correct upon opening the briefcase. This process was repeated for the next five cases. After the first six cases, the major contestant was then 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 then had to decide between a "Deal" or "No Deal". If the contestant said "Deal," they won the money that offered at that point, but they had to open the rest of the cases to see if they had made the right decision. If the contestant says "No Deal," the game continued. The contestant chose another five cases, followed by another bank offer, then four cases. This pattern continued until all the briefcases were opened. If the player continued to the end without making a "Deal", the game ended with their own briefcase being opened and the amount in that briefcase was won. Exceptions to the end of the game include the introduction of either a Supercase, Double or Nothing cases or a second Chance. (See below for more info on them.)
After every game a large dark blue fake cheque was given to the contestant displaying the amount won but sometimes the cheques were light blue (for 50c) and green (for amounts of $50,000, $75,000, $100,000 and $200,000 only). Occasionally, the money was given directly to the contestant, such as a single $1 coin if somebody won $1.
The Australian version of Deal or No Deal had a number of special features to make the show entertaining:
Supercase, Chance, Double or Nothing and Risk it All all occured at the end of the game. Due to time restrictions, these four occurred rarely. Also, only one of these features was used per episode.
Occasionally at the end of the program, a Supercase would be brought out. This feature was introduced in 2004. Contestants had the opportunity to either keep the deal they made or take whatever value was hidden in the Supercase. The Supercase contained one of the following values: 50c, $50, $500, $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $30,000, $50,000. Supercases appeared in most episodes when a contestant took a deal of approximately $10,000 when there were at least five cases left on the board, and rarely appeared in any other circumstances. This meant that the Supercase offered a 50/50 chance at bettering or equalling the $10,000 deal. If the contestant took a $10,000 deal with fewer than four cases left on the board, Supercases would be rare. This was because there was not generally time left in the show to run it. During the 2006 season, the way of telling the contestant that a Supercase would be brought out changed, where instead of the Supercase panel flashing, a Supercase alert flashed beside the 'Cases remaining' panel, and remained there until it was actually brought out. From 2010, the Supercase was introduced more frequently.
This feature was introduced in 2004. A Chance was an opportunity for the contestant to exchange the deal they took during the game for whatever was in their briefcase. It happened rarely, and only when the two remaining unknown case values were an extremely small amount and an amount of at least $5,000. For example, the contestant took a deal of $8,000, but was offered a Chance with the remaining unopened briefcases being $500 and $20,000. If the contestant took the Chance, they won either $500 or $20,000, depending on which value was in their selected case. If they didn't take the Chance, they would keep their $8,000 deal. Vogue Williams took a $21,000 Chance and won $50,000 on Dancing With The Deals.
Double or NothingEdit
Double or Nothing was added in 2006. If a contestant was lucky enough to play it, two suitcases (labeled I and II) would be offered to the contestant; one had the word "Double" inside, while the other had "Nothing." The contestant had to pick one of the cases. If "Double" was in the chosen case, the contestant would double their winnings. If "Nothing" was in the chosen case, they would lose their winnings.
The format for Double or Nothing was altered several times during the programme's run. When it was first introduced, there was only one case brought out (which was the same size as the Supercase). It had only either "Double" or "Nothing" inside, and the contestant could choose how much to gamble. If "Double" was inside, the contestant won 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 June 23, 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 DoN. If the contestant opened the case with "Nothing", they didn't win any money.
Risk it AllEdit
Risk it All was introduced in 2010. This feature allowed the contestant who took a deal for under $10,000 and had only two amounts smaller than their deal in play, to win $15,000. If the contestant chose to Risk it All, they would guess which amount was in their case. If they got it right, they would win $15,000. If they got it wrong, they would lose all their winnings.
Switch Case was introduced in 2010. At any point during the game, the banker would offer this switch. If the contestant took it, they could swap their chosen case for any unopened case on the podium. It usually occured during the middle of the game.
Dash for CashEdit
Dash for Cash was introduced in near the end of the run. Near the end of game if the contestant had a maximum prize of $5,000 or less the banker would offer a prize around half of the current maximum prize on the board rather than a normal offer. There were usually 2 more prizes higher than this offer. The contestant could choose to take the money, but would forfeit the remainder of the game.
This feature was introduced in 2004. At random intervals during the game, the bank would offer a "Megaguess", which increased the "correct guess" bonus for the next case to either $2,000, $5,000, or $10,000. The Megaguess was usually used at the end of the game to fill in remaining time. This generally happened when the podium player was a friend or relative of the main contestant. The end of game Megaguess eventually adopted a small gag where either the podium player, main contestant, or O'Keefe himself had to beg the banker to give the player a Megaguess.
The Megaguess feature was 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 final format, where either $2,000 (Blue), $5,000 (Maroon) or $10,000 (Green) could be won. The $5,000 Megaguess had the most common appearance, sometimes showing up several times during a game, followed by the $10,000 Megaguess which would appear once early during the game, and sometimes at the end, and the $2,000 Megaguess had the rarest appearance. The Megaguess mainly appeared for special podium players (e.g. birthdays) after contestant selects them.
In July 2008, a $25,000 Megaguess was offered for the 25,000th case opened in the show's history, but it wasn't won. Andrew tried to break the cheque in half but failed.
A $50,000 Megaguess was said to be offered for the 50,000th case that opened. It is not clear if they got there by the end of the programme's history.
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 FridayEdit
Home viewers were invited to ring a phone number charged at $0.55 and register their details. Every Friday, a home viewer would be randomly selected to win the same prize as the studio contestant each Friday. Host O'Keefe had mentioned that Double Deal Fridays received over 100,000 calls each week. This generally ran for the entire season (not including repeat dates), though it had been known to change start and end dates. 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. Double Deal Friday ran in 2007 but was dropped after 2008.
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 5:30pm, 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 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 follows 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 since 2009, the ratings in Deal have started to drop off slightly 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 5:30pm 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 5:30pm 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 the 6pm news bulletins ratings that air immediately after the game shows.
Many alterations to the game were made throughout the years, mainly to entice viewers against the game show rivals, including the briefcase values (see below), and the addition of many new gameplay features (see Features). During the 2004 $12 Million Month, the Supercase, Chance and Megaguess features were introduced, and became recurring segments ever since. In 2005, a car was introduced as a prize (replacing the $25,000 amount on the 2004 amount board). The cars icluded the Peugeot 307 from 2005-2007 (briefly replaced by the Renault Mégane II in 2005, valued at $33,000), the Peugeot 306 in 2008, the Peugeot 207 in 2009, the Peugeot 206 in 2010, and the Peugeot 207CC from 2011 to 2013, all valued at $30,000. In 2013 the car was removed. In 2006, Double or Nothing was introduced to the show. Since the 2007 season, the game's format remained the same. The only changes in the 2007 and 2008 seasons were the logo change, which occurred in 2007, the removal of the preliminary quiz (which determined who would be the main contestant) and onscreen graphics and music were updated several times. Double Deal Friday was dropped in 2008. In 2009, not only did the layout of the money board and the cases changed, but also, once a case was opened, instead of closing it and putting it on the table, the case remained opened to let the contestant know what cases still remain.
Four contestants won 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 biggest ever winner was Nathan Cochrane who took out $515,000 on The Deal in 2003, in just the second episode ever. 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, and then $75,000 and $50,000 in the first round, making it the lowest bank offer in the history of Deal or No Deal.
A Deal or No Deal board game was made by Crown & Andrews and were released in 2005 and 2009.
Card GamesEditA Deal or No Deal "Secret Cases" card game was released by Crown & Andrews as well.
A Deal or No Deal DVD Game was Made by Imagination.
Electronic Tabletop GameEdit
A Deal or No Deal Electronic Tabletop Game, similar to the American version that was once released by the now defunct Canadian toy company Irwin Toys, was released.
Electronic Handheld GameEditAn Electronic Handhel game similar to that of the American version that was once released by the now defunct Candian toy company Irwin Toys was also released.
A Deal or No Deal Video Game for the Nintendo DS was made by Mindscape, very similar to the UK version with the same avatar sprites but with Australia's gold cases from 2007.