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Dr. Hindsight

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:38 pm    Author: Dr. Hindsight    Post subject: From the archives: A look at the 2004 pilot for Deal USA

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:09 pm
Location: Thornhill, ON
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It's been a while since anyone's posted in the International section, especially with me taking a season off from recapping Le Banquier episodes (don't worry, the show hasn't changed a bit).

Recently, some footage of the presumed "lost" 2004 pilot for the American version of Deal or No Deal surfaced, and I thought I would share it with you. The clip can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFcfLHZoNlM

The pilot, which was shot for ABC, is a stark contrast from what would eventually air on NBC from 2005 to 2010. Judging by this clip, the format borrowed heavily from the earlier Australian version, which had been airing for about a year at this point. The game started with 100 contestants in the studio audience that were divided into teams*. They competed against each other in a quiz until only one remained. That person became the contestant, and chose a case from 26 held by identically dressed models.

From there on in, the game resembled what would end up airing about a year later, albeit with a set that looked like the inside of a pinball machine crossed with a drug hallucination, a top prize of $2.5 million, a cheesy music package, and Irishman Patrick Kielty as the host.

It's unclear what exactly the amounts on the board were, but they ranged from 5 cents to $2.5 million. A total of six episodes were filmed, and the show was slated to begin airing on March 10, 2004. However, ABC had a change of heart two weeks before the show was supposed to air, and cancelled it. According to Buzzerblog, the time slot was filled by Extreme Makeover.

Another site - http://lostmediawiki.com/Deal_or_No_Dea ... t;_2004%29 - adds that one contestant reportedly won $250,000, but it's unknown which episode this occurred in.

Hope you enjoyed that look at the origins of Deal USA. Feel free to leave your thoughts below.

*There is conflicting information on how the main contestant was selected. This archived site - http://web.archive.org/web/201502091927 ... chive.html - indicates that there were 26 contestants who competed against each other to be hand-picked by the host to play the game.

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Resident Canadian, former recapper of Le Banquier and current recapper of Deal USA 2.0.


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American Coupon Boy

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:25 pm    Author: American Coupon Boy    Post subject: Re: From the archives: A look at the 2004 pilot for Deal USA
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Yep, that was basically a carbon copy of the 2003 Australian prime-time version. To be honest, I'd prefer that to what NBC ended up giving us. :roll:

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Miss Deal or No Deal? The US version returns in Fall 2018 with yours truly as a recapper.


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Dr. Hindsight

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:21 pm    Author: Dr. Hindsight    Post subject: Re: From the archives: A look at the 2004 pilot for Deal USA

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:09 pm
Location: Thornhill, ON
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With a bit of tweaking, this might have worked. Aside from some of the distinctively Aussie elements, such as the contestant selection method and the look of the set - the Aussie version did have a very gaudy set at one point - the game was essentially the same. However, according to one of the sources I mentioned above, the studio audience seemed disinterested in the game and its proceedings. And don't get me started about that music. It sounded awful. Also, Patrick Kielty was a pretty random choice as the host, as he's virtually unknown in North America.

When Deal made it to NBC in 2005, we got a better set and host, but the quiz element was dropped. The audience seemed to enjoy the game more, probably because the warm-up person whipped them into a frenzy. However, the area where Endemol completely struck out were the contestants. The less said about them, the better. It's been rumoured that many of them were products of Central Casting, which would have put a dent in the show's authenticity.

I wonder how Deal USA would have fared if this version actually aired on ABC. Do you think it would have been better that what we got, or would it have been an unmitigated disaster?

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Resident Canadian, former recapper of Le Banquier and current recapper of Deal USA 2.0.


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