Deal or No Deal does has blown up the Topic Category motif most Game Shows rely on. Deal or No Deal provides multiple right or wrong answers, and a Contestant can choose wrong several times and still end up a winner.
Deal or No Deal Guarantees the contestant some amount of money no matter what happens. Many Game Shows have losing contestants and even winners who barely get anything. A large percentage of Deal or No Deal Contestants get into the thousands and tens of thousands of dollars.
Deal or No Deal thrives on long pauses of Contemplation, it is nice to find a place where pausing and reflecting creates more drama than running around like a lunatic. As an added bonus, Contestants still run around like lunatics, after they have had a successful round.
Deal or No Deal involves the audience to the point where they care as much or more about the final outcome. Deal or No Deal probably provides one kind of "Audience stalking a Contestant" that is a good thing.
Deal or No Deal has a nice blend of Professional Models, and Howie Mandel. Both the Professional Models and host Howie Mandel manage to have their moments without ever stepping on the contestant's time in the spotlight.
Deal or No Deal uses the Element of Music to create a combustible sense of danger and expectation for the Contestant. Normally the purpose of a Musical Soundtrack is to heighten a specific moment, or tone, or create tension. But being able to create both tension and expectation without stepping on or drowning out the contestants own emotions elevates the Deal or No Deal Music Score.
Deal or No Deal is a deceptive blend of absolute, pure luck and speculation, with logic and mathematical strategy poured on top to give the impression that the contestant is in control. One can argue that Deal or No Deal is a magic space of pure luck pared with being able to look ahead a certain amount of Moves.
Deal or No Deal simultaneously creates both a truthful narrative, and a trending narrative, and both battle for the Contestant's attention. Whether a Contestant starts out really really well, or has a very bad start, Probability dictates the possibility and even probability of a reversal of fortune, also known as the Roller Coaster Effect. Whether we are witnessing a total victory, or a great comeback, or even salvaging what remains, most episodes create a sense of a journey to go along with the desired destination.
Deal or No Deal has effectively created the ideal Pit Stop Option. A contestant picks six cases in the first round, hears the Banker's offer, then picks one less case in the next round before getting a chance to hear the next offer from the Banker. As the game proceeds eventually the Contestant only has to choose one case per offer. Always reducing number of cases to open creates an effective and creative Mathematical Pit Stop that heightens the tension and expectation as the Game progresses.
Deal or No Deal splurges on the Extras. Besides using every bit of the set, including the Audience, Deal or No Deal routinely splurges on extras, such as bringing in family, friends and co workers who offer support to the Contestant. Sometimes Deal or No Deal creates Memorable Reunion moments or will bring in a surprise Celebrity that is relevant to the Contestant.
Did I mention Howie Mandel? Worth mentioning a second time. In this day and age of texting and instant messaging, Howie Mandel provides an actual ongoing, comedic yet meaningful conversation between guest and host.
Deal or No Deal can be found on the Game Show Network every weekday, and on CNBC every Wednesday in Prime Time where new Shows are being broadcast.