So it occurred to me that "Deal Or No Deal" has quite the fanbase following. And it also occurred to me that it's a very simple game. Probably too simple: the fact it has got the ratings it has for so long is quite amazing and probably down to the minor differences each game brings - the character of the player, the characters of the contestants opening the boxes, even the occasional appearance of a random spider on the set or the lucky tea-bag. But all good things must come to an end and, like Millionaire before it, the sun must surely soon begin to set on the DOND phenomenon.
Well, maybe. Channel 4 have commissioned the series through 2007, at which point they'll probably take a look at the ratings and see if people have lost interest yet. Already, though, thoughts are turning to ways to spice the game up and keep folks interested. Noel Edmonds has already said he won't touch a 'celebrity' version of DOND - quite rightly, since unlike Millionaire or Weakest Link, this just features people opening boxes ('ooo Daddy I can't wait to see how Frank Bruno and Dot Cotton open their boxes'). So I was thinking, how about pressing the red button and getting 'fan commentary'?
Sky Sports do this with their football coverage already (as do a lot of North American broadcasters, I believe, with their 'SAP' coverage option) and while 'production team' commentary has become popular on recorded drama shows and movies, it seemed to me this morning that DOND is more like a 'live' sporting event in the sense that the viewer doesn't know what's going to happen in the game, and equally doesn't particularly care about camera angles and directing skills (since it's essentially the same every day). So how about 'fanzone' commentary for a week on 'Deal Or No Deal'?
Now, before you nick my idea and write in to Endemol with it, I wish to point out that I've already done so, and indeed got the following reply from Endemol's Chief Creative Officer:
"Thanks duncan. I think its fair to say we've been thinking around this area quite a lot - as you say, DOND has a big online following. But its always good to get input from elsewhere. I've passed this on to Peter Cowlet who runs digital media for us.
So there. If it ever happens I expect a big red box containing at least £5000 or maybe a place on the show as a contestant. And if they call me back and offer me £2500? Hmmm, what do you think?
Deal or no deal?
Postscript: Blogger's spellchecker returns to form by suggesting I replace 'fanbase' with 'beanbags'. One of these days I'm going to say 'yes' to all its suggested changes and see if anyone can actually understand what I wrote.