May 26, 2020, 10:49 am3.7k ptsInteresting
They say that a TV executive's career is one of making a series of calculated gambles. They have to estimate whether a particular show is going to be hit or not, often with very little evidence to go on. Then they become partly responsible for paying what can be a pretty huge sum to put it into production.
This is the situation that must be facing the execs at Apple TV+ now as they try to build up the content for the channel. It's already been announced that they've been buying up the rights to old shows and movies in a bid to take on other streaming services like Netflix. But surely a good candidate for a winning format that may be available is the simple gambling game Deal or No Deal. In the UK, it was last broadcast in 2016, and in the US, the fifth series ended in August 2019 with no news about whether it was to be renewed by NBC.
For those not familiar with the game, the way that it works is simple. In each episode there are either 22 or 26 contestants, depending on the version being played. Each one has a box that contains a specified amount of money ranging from 1p up to £250,000. One contestant is chosen to take their place centre stage and start a process of elimination to discover what the cash value of their particular box will be.
There follows a series of rounds of box opening with each value being eliminated as it's revealed. At certain crucial moments throughout the process, an unseen character called simply "The Banker" makes offers to the main contestant to stop the game there and then. The gambling aspect kicks in here in that, with only a hunch to help them, the contestant has to guess whether their own box will contain more or less than the cash offer on the table.
It really does make for gripping TV for viewers and is obviously even more involving if you are the player competing for what could be a huge prize. Anyone wanting to experience this thrilling form of gambling by playing Deal or No Deal can do right now with an online version of the game. The online version follows the same format as the TV show, with 26 boxes and a "virtual" banker making tempting offers which players have to use their intuition to accept or reject.
Like many forms of gambling, the beauty of the game lies in its simplicity which gives it a global level of appeal – in fact, just what Apple TV+ must be looking for in its content. Plus, in the UK at least, there was great disappointment when the show was axed in 2016.
So now, some four years later, it must surely be ready for a re-boot. And if that were to come from Apple TV+ it wouldn't be too much of a gamble to suggest that they could have a real winner on their hands.