What ‘Ingredients’ Are Important In A Formatted Show?

As an introduction to the module, myself and the rest of the class were shown the following clip, taken from the American version of the popular game show ‘Deal Or No Deal’.

‘Deal Or No Deal’ is a game show which focuses primarily on a particular contestant and the series of ‘gambles’ they must take in order to win a certain amount of money towards the end of the show.

The contestant is usually an ordinary member of the public, therefore relations between the viewer and this person is already a significant factor in terms of the show’s popularity; if the audience can relate to the contestant, they can then understand the situation they are in and instinctively wish for them to do well in the show (for the most part).

The host is a figure of authority in the programme; they control the flow of conversation and can choose when to ask questions (to audience or contestant) and when to reveal the answers. The host, here portrayed by Howie Mandel, manages to create suspense by hiding certain responses from both the audience and contestant for extended periods of time. This tension in then exaggerated by the use of the live audience, thus creating atmosphere and drama, resulting in ‘interesting’ television. Introducing a live audience into a game show can place the viewer among the audience (particularly by use of camera shots) and can create a somewhat theatrical experience for viewers at home. Camera shots of the audience and close-ups of the contestant really adds to the physiological aspect of the show; expressions, gestures, shock and especially silence can effect how an individual engages with these ‘dramatised’ situations.

Interactivity is key when researching into the popularity of format shows. If an audience cannot engage or be involved in the show they are watching, they cannot relate and express a thought towards it. They will soon become bored and feel passive and unnecessary, whereas if interactivity is present, they feel as though they are part of the show, alongside those involved and are therefore more inclined to be interested with what is happening and as a result keep coming back for more.

In terms of my radio/television quiz show development, by analysing various game shows I have concluded that I will need to find interesting (though ordinary) contestants to be involved in the production, and also when choosing a presenter/host, they will need to be enthusiastic, charismatic and spontaneous, in order to engage with the audience and leave them wanting more.

I will be researching into this further and posting on here at a later date.


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