Saturday, 16 May 2009

The DOND Syndrome - Patient update

ITV1 Not perhaps a Terminal Case After All

Back on the 29th March of this year I wrote about the 'Deal or No Deal Syndrome'. In case you missed this, I'll reprint what I wrote in part here : -

'"The Colour of Money" is worrying confirmation of what I call the "Deal or No Deal " syndrome. Put in simple terms, for me it is proof that the big prize quiz show bonanza which we have enjoyed since "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire " first burst onto our screens in 1998 seems to be over.

Why call it the "Deal or No Deal " syndrome ? Well, the afore mentioned show is the first show that Channel Four have managed to come up with that replicates the popularity of the much missed Fifteen To One. I feel ashamed to say it, but I quite enjoy DOND, but Fifteen to One it's not. Who cares ? Not Channel Four, and certainly not the daily audience. Look at the appeal to the makers. Everyone wins something eventually. Incredibly simple format. No questions to compile. The first time I ever saw DOND actually was in the Yorkshire TV studios in Leeds when I was a stand in for the Mastermind semis of 2006. They make Countdown there, and so I guess that they had been watching it in the green room, and couldn't be bothered to change channel. When I saw it I did think that this was a development that could spell trouble for genuine quiz shows.

So where does the Colour of Money fit into this ? Well, its different from DOND in as much as not everybody wins something on the show. However it is about making the correct, or should I say lucky , choices, and knowing where to stop, and that's pure DOND. But its prime time Saturday night. I don't know what the ratings are like on the show, but if its a success, then I'm thinking we can kiss goodnight to the chance of any more massive jackpots for a genuine quiz show. "

Well, I might not have known what the ratings were like for the show when I wrote that, but I do now. Apparently the ratings for the Colour of Money have been so much less than ITV expected or demanded that they are not even going to show the last one in the series. OK, now you all know I'm sure that I much prepare quiz shows to game shows without any form of quiz in them at all. However this post is not meant to be a gloat in any way. For one thing I have an awful lot of time for Chris Tarrant. I found him to be a damn good bloke when I appeared on Millionaire . The Colour of Money wasn't in my opinion a terrible show. However on reflection I think that it was rather overblown. Cut down the prize money. Cut it down to a half hour long, and make it move a bit quicker, and you've got a nice, early evening show that Channel 4 / Five/ or ITV2 would be proud of. However putting it out at an hour long and expecting it to hold a big audience on a Saturday night was asking too much.

Does it mean that we'll see another prime time big money quiz show coming along on ITV again ? Well, its a little early to say that yet. Time will tell.

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