In 2004, ABC commissioned a six episode run of Deal or No Deal to be fronted by Northern Irish funnyman Patrick Kielty and having recorded all the episodes, decided they weren’t going to show them. NBC picked up the rights, it was one of the biggest shows in the US, Howie Mandel gets a huge career boost, Patrick Kielty goes on to present the original laughing-stock Love Island (which becomes successful a decade later) and becomes better known as Cat Deeley’s husband.
A real Sliding Doors moment. Anyway, Wink Martindale has put up the ABC pilot on his channel.
It’s quite a strange mish-mash of colours and styles really – a lot of the set design decisions and direction seem to have been inspired by the Mexican version (dancing models, banker’s assistant coming through a door), the orange and yellow stylings are a choice and we’re not sure about Russ Landau’s sixties-esque music. I quite like the graphics. The temptation elimination game seems original to this version but takes forever and isn’t that much fun. I have no idea what the stutter dance is all about.
It seems a bit baffling that ABC passed on this, the core is as true as megamoney DoND has ever been, and you figure there are worse shows they could be broadcasting. But for one reason or another, it’s difficult to imagine this version being quite as big as the show became – maybe it’s too light. We’ll never know.