So here’s fun, from next week it looks like Deal or No Deal is moving to 3pm where it meets Tipping Point and The Link. The winner gets to play whoever wins out of Cambridge United and Manchester United in the next round.
We don’t quite understand the logic here although I’m sure there is one – DOND is currently sitting at 700-800k in its 4pm slot against (the tanking, as we suspected might happen) Mel and Sue. Traditionally against Tipping Point in the slot DOND loses about 300k and they move straight over to Ben Shephard. TP is by no means a Bargain Hunt-esque monster, but it’s performing admirably well in a slot it doesn’t deserve and it’s being missed as a lead-in for The Chase. Meanwhile Antiques Road Trip is pushing 3m, and Pointless is regularly getting 4.2m (which is making The Chase‘s 3.3m-ish looking lacklustre even though by any other standard it’s a huge number to be getting regularly).
The replacement is the mildly entertaining Shipping Wars UK (where people bid against each other to make deliveries, it’s Postman Pat as competitive reality show) and Couples Come Dine With Me.
And then there’s The Link. It’s probably too early to suggest your second favourite new show (certainly not mine) is just the latest show to overperform in its first series and underperform subsequently, but for all the idea that the second series was going to iron out some of the issues of the first one I’m not seeing it. The first round still has too many situations where your reward for getting the link right is to literally directly benefit everyone else (hint to format designers! If your two options are not “do something to benefit me” or “screw someone else over” you don’t have any strategy or any decisions with any meaning, and getting the contestants to talk about their irrelevant decisions doesn’t suddenly make it in any way strategic.) Round two is still decided on basically what sort of mood the clue setters are in when they set the questions. The Superlink is a fine idea in theory but so rubbish in practice – the reason there aren’t many winners? Because sometimes they’ll give a list which requires a straight answer, and sometimes they’ll give a list where they want something more specific but don’t tell you this, so when the contestant gives a completely reasonable and technically correct response it’s judged wrong and they don’t get the time back, once or twice a game. It could really do with the “have another go” rule on Only Connect. It makes me SO MAD, BUT WHO AM I TO ARGUE WITH YOU, THE PUBLIC? It’d do a quarter-mill less without Mark Williams’ eccentric hosting.
Afternoons from next week, there.