Saturday, March 18, 2006

Have to give some props to Howie Mandel. He's brilliant on "Deal or No Deal", funny and charming enough to get me to watch on a semi-regular basis. I can't say the same about his pitching for Boston Pizza, though ... I'm always afraid I'm going to go in for a sub and find him pantsless at the bar.

I had a thought on how to improve the game. How about this for the next round of contestants:

One of the 26 cases contains not only a monetary amount, but also a coin. One side of the coin says "DOUBLE" while the other says "HALF".

When the case is chosen, the model walks down to the stage and hands the coin to Howie, who then places it on the table next to the deal or no deal button and explains its possible use.

The player can choose to employ the coin at any time after completing a round of picking cases, but must declare the intention to do so before Howie reveals the banker's offer, i.e. the banker calls down the offer to Howie, who then asks, "Use the coin?" If the contestant chooses to do so, Howie reveals the number and the contestant then flips the coin and receives either half or double the offer.

It sounds complicated, but it's not. What it does is force some thought into those first two rounds of choices. Right now, every contestant just bypasses those almost immediately, as the possibility of a big score is still too tempting.

But giving that contestant a reason to think about doubling a possible $45,000 offer to $90,000 when there aren't that many big values left would make the game much more dramatic, and hell, the coin flip would be cool also. Plus, you get to have a model walk down and chat with Howie, which can't hurt.

NBC, please feel free to send my royalty check to me in American funds.

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