Deal Or No Deal for TV3
Station ready to call in the banker
TV3 is in top level negotiations to bring global smash hit Deal Or No Deal to Ireland.
The Herald can reveal that the station is engaged in their own deal to create an Irish version of the popular game show, which is fronted across the water by Noel Edmonds.
If TV3 is successful in its bid for the hit series, it will prove to be a considerable coup for them, given its immense popularity around the world.
But Irish fans of the show won't have long to wait to see if they have nabbed the international format.
The station will unveil its new schedule for the autumn/winter at a press call on August 20, with plenty of surprises in store.
"TV3 is very keen to buy the rights to screen an Irish version of the programme as they're sure it would be an instant ratings winner," said an insider.
"They were over the moon with the Irish version of The Apprentice, which did extremely well for them after they bought the rights to make it here. TV3 is confident that international shows can work if they're given an Irish twist.
"There's a real feelgood factor to seeing other people win money, especially the times that are in it, which is why an Irish Deal or No Deal would probably prove very popular."
And the question on everyone's lips, if the station does get the go-ahead, is: who would get the presenting role?
Channel 4's decision to cast Noel Edmonds in the role of programme host was initially derided by his critics, who had written him off as a has-been.
However, he is now enjoying a total career revival, thanks to the huge popularity of the British game show.
Originally produced by Endemol, the same team behind Big Brother, the show has been adapted by more than 30 countries around the world.
The show concentrates on players picking from up to 26 boxes containing different sums of money, which are then removed from a board.
By a process of elimination, the contestant works their way through the boxes, with an unseen banker offering them various tempting deals in order to entice them to quit the game. If they keep playing and guess correctly, they win a big cash prize.
Although the amounts up for grabs vary according to the country, players of the US version have won up to $1m.
This isn't the first time that TV3 have produced an international game show.
A few years ago, they made an Irish version of The Weakest Link which was fronted by soccer commentator Eamon Dunphy in 2001.
Yet it failed to hit the right note with viewers and was axed after one series.