Rapid Insights: Deal or No Deal Island Brings Survivor Strategy to Franchise

A smash-hit mid-2000s game show has found new life as a reconfigured spin-off, currently airing on NBC and billed as “Deal or No Deal meets Survivor.” This time hosted by actor Joe Manganiello instead of comedian Howie Mandel, the action has been moved from a studio soundstage to a tropical island, with contestants now competing to collect the potentially prize-filled briefcases.

Here’s what you need to know about Deal or No Deal Island:

Vault uses index scores to describe the impact a given story/theme/element will have on specific KPIs: 
≤79 Disappointing  80-89 Challenging  90-109 Average  110-119 Promising  120+ Outstanding

Is the audience for this new spin-off the same as for its predecessor? 
Yes. We’re seeing a viewership that’s mostly female (63%) and heavily older (91% aged 35+), a near exact match for the original Deal or No Deal as well as both recent game show revivals like Password, Press Your LuckTo Tell the Truth, and The $100,000 Pyramid and long-running competition-style reality series like Survivor, Big Brother, and The Amazing Race.
How important is the Deal or No Deal game play?
Very. This spin-off’s links to the popular original show and its numbered briefcases (IP Extension, 144) are crucial for both its bingeability and longevity. Audiences are still leaning in to watch the contestants face the same Tough Decisions (113)–will they accept or reject the Banker’s offer?–though this time, there’s a twist. Instead of winning the money in the final briefcase, players are either eliminated (if they accept a “bad deal” from the Banker) or get to choose the person who is (if they accept a “good deal”), adding a whole new layer of Emotional Turmoil (123).
What elements does this show share with Survivor?
Strategy, alliances, and sabotage. Unlike the original Deal or No Deal, which featured a brand new player every week, Island begins with 13 contestants and follows the single-elimination format favored by most competition-style series, with only one person playing the briefcase game at the end of each episode. A host of Survival Skills (115)Creativity on Display (113), and naked Ambition & Drive (129) go into determining who gets to face the Banker; this season’s contestant roster even includes a well-known Survivor personality (“Boston” Rob) to demonstrate the clever tactics and manipulative Life Lessons (141) he picked up from the other show.
Which series is closer to Deal or No Deal Island’s emotional experience?
Survivor. With the original Deal or No Deal, audiences were captured by the tension (Vigilance, 134; Surprise, 128) as each contestant chose between “deal” or “no deal” and opened their final briefcase–which also caused viewers to post and tweet online. Survivor, on the other hand, gained popularity thanks to the cunning, foolish, or downright bizarre choices of its players, engendering a wide variety of emotional reactions from Rage (135) and Contempt (130) to Apprehension (129)Admiration (125), and Interest (125)Island has more in common with the latter, driving social buzz with a mix of Loathing (123)Sadness (119)Annoyance (118), and Joy (117) as viewers cheer or lament the fate of their favorites.
What will help this new show reach a second season?
The mini challenges. Each episode, players compete to nab hidden or submerged briefcases in a grueling Treasure Hunt (127) that’s a Race Against Time (152); the person whose briefcase contains the highest dollar figure will ultimately decide who plays the Deal or No Deal game. Considerable strategizing goes into this choice, as the briefcase game player will end up either going home or seizing all the power (Winning, 129). All are key drivers for longevity.


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