Suitcases of cash top the charts in Quebec

If the early ratings for TVA's version of Deal or No Deal are any indication, Quebecers are just as fascinated with models, briefcases and blind luck as everyone else. Here's a look at Le Banquier, which hit BBM/Nielsen's #1 spot with its premiere on Jan. 24.

TVA’s version of Deal or No Deal may be Quebec’s most popular show this season. The first installments of the 20 one-hour episodes of Le Banquier, hosted by Quebec TV diva Julie Snyder, snared 1.91 million and 1.98 million viewers on Jan. 21 and Jan. 22, respectively. This represents a market share of almost 60%. Produced by the network’s sister company JPL Productions and Deal or No Deal‘s Dutch owners, Endemol International, Le Banquier airs twice weekly in TVA’s 8 pm Wednesday and
9 pm Thursday time slots for ten weeks. Last fall’s top show in the province was the Big Brother-style Occupation Double, which pulled in an average of 1.7 million. (All ratings are 2+, province-wide.)

The Quebec version replicates the original concept.
Contestants seek a cash prize among 26 suitcases. In Le Banquier, the grand prize is $500,000. South of the border the winner receives US$1 million. Global’s Canadian edition, which followed the Super Bowl, averaged 2.7 million viewers.

A version of this story first appeared in Playback Daily.