UK broadcaster ITV has ordered a second season of Simon Cowell gameshow Red or Black? with viewers likely to see a much changed format when it returns this autumn.
The show, produced by ITV Studios (ITVS) and Simon Cowell’s Syco TV, debuted on ITV1 last September and challenged contestants to correctly guess the 50/50 outcome of a series of extreme stunts. Each episode then culminated in one finalist spinning a giant roulette wheel for the chance to win £1m (US$1.6m).
But in a departure from the original format, distributed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment, contestants will now have to use their own skill and judgment for the chance to win the top prize.
The new season will offer a reduced prize of £500,000, though this could rollover to £3.5m if it goes unclaimed over several weeks, while it will also air weekly, rather than being stripped across one single week.
The first season run averaged 5.3 million viewers.
Peter Fincham, ITV’s director of television, said: “We have developed Red or Black? and built on what we did with the first series. The scale of the challenges will still be huge but this time around, contestants will have more control over their own destinies as they are able to use their skill and judgment in an attempt to win big money prizes.”
Fincham previously said the show would only return in a changed format after admitting it was “not quite right” and that contestants needed to “earn their place” in the competition.
Commenting on the renewal Cowell added: “One of the things I love most about this show is that it’s exciting, unpredictable, scary, and a bit nuts all in one. I’m delighted it’s back and am excited about the possibility of rollover winnings and some even bigger games.”
The recommission comes as the UK Gambling Commission is preparing to issue guidelines to broadcasters to ensure programmes such as Red or Black? and Endemol format Deal or No Deal don’t flout gambling laws.
The commission fears the emergence of shows that only involve luck and no element of skill – a distinction that would require the broadcaster to have a gambling licence and only air such programmers after 21.00.
Red or Black? was commissioned by Elaine Bedell, ITV’s director of comedy and entertainment. It will be exec produced by Richard Cowles for ITVS and Siobhan Greene and Nigel Hall for Syco. Sarah Harris from ITVS is series producer. It will again be presented by duo Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.