Deal or No Deal – USA

The first series of Deal or No Deal in the States began with an opening montage of lots of other different versions around the world, and that it’s been a hit in every single one of them.

Hidden subtext: if you don’t watch this show, the world will never be able to take the US seriously EVER AGAIN.

“Go big, or go home! The biggest decision on television… starts now.”

Host Howie Mandel:

“I’m standing here inside a high security vault surrounded by 26 cases holding millions of dollars. One of these cases holds a cool one million dollars. Tonight, we will give someone the chance to choose one of these cases and take whatever is inside. Will it be one million dollars… or one penny?

“One million dollars as a top prize. No crazy stunts. No trivia questions. All they have to do is be able to answer the most important question tonight… [Walks through door into studio] and that question is… Deal or no deal?”

The very short title sequence – two shiny gold blocks with “Deal or” and “No Deal” spinning into view and then fusing together.

Howie requests the models to the stage. Each one is identically dressed, the colour of the dress changes from episode to episode.

Our first contestant, planted in the audience.

Mandel brings up the gameboard and explains the game. The board is to the right of the stairs where the models reside.

She’s asked to pick a briefcase, she chooses number 14. The model brings it down.

Same format as the other international shows, six cases in the first round. An occasional pop-up bar gives information.

The case picked here is case number 3.

There’s a neat spotlight-and-zoom-in effect going on with each case picking.

It’s the penny!

There’s normally a sound effect to go with each case (although they messed it up quite heavily with the first episode). Anything beneath $10,000 gets a “ting-a-ling!” sound effect, anything $100,000 upwards is met with a horrible rasping sound.

The US gameboard in action. The gold bars spin round to a much darker side once they’ve been picked off.

It’s time for an offer. Howie points to the Banker’s booth behind them.

The phone the offer is phoned through from is on the desk just above Mandel’s left hand here. It’s a stylised modern wireless one.

This is the traditional board we sometimes see as well.

The offer is $21,000. There’s no chat with the Banker, just an “uh-huh” and puts the phone down. He says it, it goes up on the Banker’s Board (this all strikes us as being a bit pointless, like they’ve chosen the worst of both worlds, but never mind). It also appears on the main scoreboard.

In front of her is a big red button in a protective case. If she wants to deal, she pushes the button. If not, she snaps the case shut.

The offer is promptly No Dealed.

To help make decisions in future, after the second offer Mandel introduces us to the three or four family members and supporters sitting just off stage. They will be referred to throughout the rest of the game.

We’re at the end of the game now, and as you can see she got rather unlucky the round before last.

The previous offers are listed in each round.

She’s been offered $25,000.

She pushes the button – it’s a deal!

Confirmed in writing.

Confirmed on the board.

A good deal as it turns out. But clearly a few rounds too late.

10 thoughts on “Deal or No Deal – USA

  1. dr

    Does anybody know how the unaired pilot of US DoND with Patrick Kielty in 2004 (made for ABC) looked like? I have searched the entire internet for pics or videos, but I found nothing, maybe you can help me…

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I have seen a clip actually! Russ Landau had a clip on his site. Central column with the amounts, offers given by a female voice and displayed above the board. Models danced more.

      1. dr

        Hmmm… I have visited Russ Landau`s homepage, but the video is bnot there yet… do you know where I could get any more infos? Has there been the division of the audience into several sections for the opening quiz, or what did the studio look like?

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          I think it was taken down sometime ago I’m afraid. Can’t remember much of the set, although it was more traditionally arena like.

          1. dr

            It is a shame that ABC rejected the show. As far as I know, I would habe liked the ABC version more than the overtaking ABC version as I love the traditioanl DoND/”Chance deines Lebens” version with the arena-style set and the trivia quiz rounds. I think it is a shame that this version is nearly completely gone.

          2. dr

            Okay… try to imagine a mishmash of the arena set and the Irish two-level set… I would like to see it… I`m absolutely sure it looked amazing…

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