[I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but if you have a browser that supports other tabs, you probably should right-click the links on this page and select “open in new tab”. Otherwise, you’ll leave the page.]
This year, we start season 39 of The Price is Right. Boy, are we in for some major changes. Now, where do I begin?
First, there’s Drew. He’s lost a lot of weight and according to several posters at BuzzerBlog, he looks like the original host Bill Cullen. Now, before you say, “Wait, I thought Bob Barker was the original host.”, let me explain. The Price is Right truly began not in 1972, but in 1956. Back then, it was, according to announcer Don Pardo, “the exciting game of bidding, buying, and bargaining“. It was played much like the One-Bids on Contestant’s Row, except:
* 4 people played the entire game (not 6 or 9)
* One-Bids were pretty rare (most items had a few rounds of bidding and a lot more strategy)
* Contestant’s Row was on stage, so the phrase “Come on Down” wouldn’t have made sense
* the pricing games we know and love today didn’t exist then (well, there were some unique bonus events, but those weren’t always pricing games; for more info, check out Adam Nedeff’s website)
* there was no Showcase Showdown, and no Showcase for the contestants period (they were for people in the home audience)
* and most importantly, there were returning champions (something practically non-existant today)
However, I digress. Drew looks great, and let’s hope he has more energy to match the show. He should now that he’s taking charge of his own life. And just so you can get an idea, here’s a picture of Bill:
And one of Drew, courtesy of BuzzerBlog:
See the similarities?
Second, there’s a new pricing game created by executive producer (and former “Beauty and the Geek” host) Mike Richards. It’s called “Pay the Rent”, and it has a top prize of $100,000, supposedly the “highest cash prize in the history of the show”. And he’s right, it is the highest cash prize for the daytime version. Let’s not forget, though, that Plinko was played for $100,000 during the primetime specials (circa 2002).
Speaking of Plinko….. it’s getting a bit of a facelift as well, along with 10 Chances. CBS released this to the press.
Also, longtime announcer Rich Fields has left the show, much like Burton Richardson left Family Feud. Now, I’ll bet you all the cash in my pocket that Richards let Fields go because he wanted “a new direction”. And according to Rich’s own press release, he’s right. Apparently, Mike wants to create “a variety show within a game show” and wants an improv comic to become Drew’s sidekick of sorts. And CBS has revealed there will be a trio of rotating announcers (hopefully they’ll be rotated on some basis). These three are JD Roberto, Jeff Davis, and Brad Sherwood. 2 of them have game show hosting (not announcing, hosting) experience (Roberto and Sherwood), and 2 of them were on Drew’s other show Whose Line? (Davis and Sherwood). Personally, I think Fremantle’s making a stupid, stupid mistake. What is wrong with experienced announcers like Randy West, Bob Hilton or Burton Richardson? All I can say is thank goodness we still have Charlie O’Donnell and Johnny Gilbert on Wheel and Jeopardy.
Overall, I’m looking forward to this season. I’m curious as to what this new game will look like. Season premiere’s on September 20th, but I’ll be missing it. I know I’ll miss at least the first pricing game, but it’ll probably end up on YouTube. When it gets there, I’ll be posting it right here.