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The Price Is Right (U.S. game show)

{{infobox television | | show_name = The Price Is Right | image = | caption = The Price Is Right logo from the 37th season
(20082009). | format = Game Show | runtime = 60 minutes (with commercials) (1975-Present); 30 minutes (1972-1975) | creator = Bob Stewart | developer = Mark Goodson
Bill Todman | presenter = Bob Barker (1972–2007)
Drew Carey (2007–present) | narrated = Johnny Olson (1972–1985)
Rod Roddy (1985–2003)
Rich Fields (2004–present) | executive_producer = Syd Vinnedge | co_exec = Mike Richards | producer = Kathy Greco | co-producer = Stan Blits
Sue McIntyre
Adam Sandler | director = Bart Eskander | country = | network = CBS (also in first-run syndication) | first_aired = September 4, 1972 | last_aired = present | picture_format = 1080i (HDTV - 16:9)
480i (SDTV - 4:3 {cropped}) | related = The Price Is Right $1,000,000 Spectacular | num_episodes = 6,936 as of October 10, 2008 | website = http://www.cbs.com/daytime/price/ | imdb_id = 0068120 | tv_com_id = 5406 }} The Price Is Right is an five time Emmy Award-winning American game show centering on contestants guessing the retail prices of featured prizes and products. The current version of the show premiered on September 4, 1972 on CBS, and was hosted by Bob Barker for 35 seasons until his retirement on June 15, 2007. Drew Carey succeeded Barker at the beginning of the 36th season on October 15, 2007. TV Guide named The Price Is Right the "greatest game show of all time". The show is well-known for its signature line of "Come on down!" when the announcer directs newly selected contestants to Contestants' Row.

The original version of The Price Is Right aired from 1956 to 1965 and was hosted by Bill Cullen. While retaining some elements of the earlier generation show, the 1972 revival added many new distinctive gameplay elements, and now has the distinction of being the longest continuously running game show in North American television history, with more than 6,900 episodes aired.

The show began its 37th season on September 22, 2008 and is broadcasting exclusively in High-Definition.

Overview

The gameplay on the show includes four distinct competition elements through which nine preliminary contestants eventually are narrowed to two finalists.

One Bid

One Bid is a qualifying game, played with four contestants standing at the foot of the stage ("Contestants' Row"). A prize is shown, and each player bids a price. The contestant who bids closest to the actual retail price of the prize, without going over, wins it and advances on to the stage for an individual pricing game. A contestant that bids the exact price (a "Perfect Bid") also receives a cash bonus - $500 on the daytime episodes (originally $100), and $1,000 on the prime time shows. If all four contestants overbid, they all must bid again. Four initial contestants are chosen from the audience at the start of the show to play the first One Bid round; before each subsequent One Bid round, a new contestant is chosen from the audience to replace the previous winner.

Pricing games

Each winner of the One Bid rounds (six in all) is called onto stage to play a pricing game, to play for a prize or prizes valued at least several thousand dollars. There are currently over 70 pricing games in rotation.

Regardless of whether or not the pricing games are won, all One Bid winners advance automatically to the Showcase Showdown, which occurs twice in each show.

Showcase Showdown

The Showcase Showdown determines which contestants will play for the Showcase prize packages at the end of the show. There are two showdowns in each episode, after the third and sixth pricing games. Each showdown features the three contestants who played the preceding three games; order of play is in ascending order of the value of prizes already won.

Each contestant spins a large wheel which is segmented and marked with the values from five cents to a dollar, in increments of five cents, in random order. The winner of each Showdown is the contestant who spins the highest value in one spin or the total of two spins without exceeding a dollar. A total of exactly one dollar wins $1,000 and another spin for a bonus cash prize of either $10,000 or $25,000. In the event of a tie, a spin-off is held in which each of the tied contestants is given one spin with the highest value winning. The two Showdown winners in each show compete in the Showcase following the second Showdown.

The Showcase

The two contestants are shown a large prize package. The contestant who has a greater winnings thus far in the show (the "top winner") may bid on that showcase it or pass it to the other contestant (the "runner-up"). A second prize package is shown and whichever contestant has not yet bid must bid on that showcase. The contestant who bids closer to the combined "actual retail price" of the items in their showcase without going over wins that showcase. If the winning contestant has bid within $250 of the price of their showcase, they win both showcases. If both contestants bid higher than the price of their showcase, a "double overbid" is declared, and neither contestant wins the showcase.

Prizes

Over the course of the show's 36 year run, The Price Is Right had given away more than US$800,000,000 in cash and prizes.

One Bid prizes generally range in value from $400 to $3,000 in the daytime show. The prizes offered in pricing games vary significantly, ranging from under $3,000 (Clock Game) to the more rare prizes worth $50,000 or more (Plinko, Triple Play or Golden Road). Most games are played for prizes worth between $4,000 and $9,999, or a new automobile. Showcases typically award a prize package worth between $15,000 and $40,000 in most daytime episodes, resulting in the typical top prize for a person who wins both a pricing game and a showcase to be around $30,000 to $50,000. Ceremonial episodes, such as a major Season Premiere or Finale, or a milestone episode (such as the "5,000th" and "6,000th"), will see the budget increased to values similar to the primetime series.

Many of the show's prizes and grocery items are provided through product placement.

From 1991-2008, almost all automobiles offered on the show were made by companies based in the United States, specifically the Big Three automobile manufacturers (although cars made by these companies' foreign subsidiaries were also eligible to be offered). The move was made by executive producer Bob Barker as a sign of patriotism during the first Iraq war in 1991. Since Barker's retirement, cars made by foreign companies have been offered, most notably Hondas, especially since American Honda is based in Ohio, the home state of Drew Carey and Rich Fields.

Carey's libertarian views have influenced the show to lift other Barker-imposed prohibitions such as references to leather seats in furniture and automobiles, displaying simulated meat props on barbecue grills and restrictions on meat-based grocery products used in pricing games.

Winnings Records

The record for winnings (cash and/or prizes) on the daytime show is held by Vickyann Sadowski. On September 18, 2006, the premiere of Season 35, Sadowski won a Dodge Caravan playing Push Over, $1,000 in cash in the second Showcase Showdown, and by winning both showcases also won a Dodge Viper in her showcase and a Saturn Sky Roadster in her opponent's. Her total winnings for the episode was $147,517.

Cast and crew

Hosts

Bob Barker (1972-2007)

Bob Barker began hosting The Price Is Right in 1972 and completed a 35-year tenure in 2007. Barker was hired as host while still hosting the long-running stunt comedy show Truth or Consequences, and his retirement coincided with his 50th year as a television host. His final show aired on Friday, June 15, 2007, and was repeated in prime time, leading into the network's coverage of the Daytime Emmy Awards. In addition to hosting, Barker also served as executive producer from 1988 until his retirement, and was responsible for creating several of the show's pricing games and launching the prime-time spinoff. Barker had significant creative control over the series, particularly after 2000.

Reruns of the Barker version ran throughout the summer until his June 15 final episode was once again aired on October 12, 2007.

After he became a noted animal rights advocate in the early 1980s, Barker signed off of each broadcast with a public-service message to "help control the pet population; have your pets spayed or neutered". Carey carried on the tradition upon becoming the new host, although he says it in a slightly different way.

Drew Carey (2007-Present)

On October 31, 2006, Barker announced that he would retire from the show at the end of the season. In March 2007, CBS and FremantleMedia began a search for the next host of the show. Drew Carey was chosen, and made the announcement of his selection in a July 23, 2007 interview on the Late Show with David Letterman Carey's first show aired October 15, 2007.

Substitute Hosts

In the history of the show, there has been only one substitute host. Dennis James, then hosting the syndicated nighttime version of the show (see below), filled in for Barker from December 24-27, 1974 while Barker was ill (taped December 2). Since then, if the host becomes ill and cannot host, that episode's taping is simply postponed or, if necessary, the episode is cancelled and replaced with a rerun.

Announcers

The Price Is Right has had three permanent announcers over the course of its run on CBS: Johnny Olson (1972–1985); Rod Roddy (1986–2003); and Rich Fields (2004–present). Several announcers have substituted on the show over the years, most prominently including Gene Wood (1985), Burton Richardson (2001-2004, 2007) and Randy West (2003). They traditionally enjoyed greater exposure than the typical television announcer, frequently appearing on-camera throughout the show and in Showcase skits.

Models

To help display its many prizes, the show has featured several models who were known during Barker's time on the show as "Barker's Beauties". Some of the long-tenured Barker's Beauties included Kathleen Bradley (1990–2000), Holly Hallstrom (1977–1995), Dian Parkinson (1975–1993), and Janice Pennington (1972–2000). Pennington and Bradley were fired from the program in 2000, allegedly for testifying on behalf of Hallstrom in a wrongful-termination lawsuit against Barker and the show. Following the departure of Heather Kozar and Nikki Ziering, producers decided to use a rotating cast of models. Claudia Jordan was the last "permanent" model to appear on the show, in 2004. Carey does not use a collective name for the models, but refers to them by name (such as Brandi, Rachel and Lanisha), hoping that the models will be able to use the show as a "springboard" to further their careers.

Production staff

The highly successful game show production team of Mark Goodson and Bill Todman was responsible for producing the original as well as the revival versions of the game show. Goodson–Todman staffer Bob Stewart is credited with creating the original version of The Price Is Right.

Roger Dobkowitz was the program's producer, having worked with the program as a production staffer since the current version's debut after graduating from San Francisco State University in 1972. Occasionally, Dobkowitz appeared on camera when answering a question posed by the host - usually relating to the show's history or records. FremantleMedia and Dobkowitz parted ways at the end of season 36. Variety reported that it was unclear whether Dobkowitz was retiring or was fired.

Kathy Greco, who has been with the show since 1975, is the current producer of the show. Stan Blits (who joined the show in 1980), Sue MacIntyre, and Adam Sandler (not to be confused with the actor; was associate producer prior to 2008) are the three co-producers.

Frank Wayne, a Goodson–Todman staffer since the 1950s, was the original executive producer of the show's current version; Barker assumed that role after Wayne's death in 1988. Previous producers have included Jay Wolpert, Barbara Hunter, and Phil Wayne Rossi (Wayne's son). Bart Eskander is the current director; Marc Breslow and Paul Alter each served long stints as director previously.

Aside from Barker, the show's production staff remained intact after Carey became host; FremantleMedia executive Syd Vinnedge was named the program's new executive producer, with Mike Richards becoming co-executive producer after Dobkowitz's departure; Richards was a candidate to replace Bob Barker as host in 2007, before Carey was ultimately chosen.

Production information

Audience and contestant selection

Many audience members arrive early on the day of a taping. Most have already received tickets for that day's show, although some hope to get same-day tickets. Audience members are then given the iconic nametags with a temporary identification number, which is also written on the person's ticket. Audience members are eventually brought through in groups of twelve for brief interviews with the production staff. A Social Security Number (or some national I.D. number for non-U.S. audience members) is required to be submitted. Contrary to popular belief, contestant names are not chosen at random; rather, the interviews determine possible selections for the nine contestants per taping from among the pool of approximately 325 audience members. With few exceptions, anyone at least 18 years old who attends a taping of the show has the potential to become a contestant on The Price Is Right. Those ineligible include current candidates for political office, employees of CBS or its affiliates, RTL Group, or any firm involved in offering prizes for the show. Contestants who have appeared on a different game show within the previous year, or either two other game shows or any version of The Price Is Right itself within the past ten years are also ineligible. The show staff alerts potential contestants, in person, on the show's Web site, and on the tickets themselves, to dress in "street clothes" and not to wear costumes, such as those used to attract attention on Let's Make a Deal, another show that featured contestants selected from the audience. Those who have attended tapings in June 2008 noted producers have disallowed audience members from wearing fake eyeglasses designed to look similar to those worn by host Drew Carey. Instead, contestants will often wear shirts with hand-decorated slogans, often with Drew Carey references. Members of the armed forces will often wear their uniforms, a tradition on many game shows. (Both Barker, a Navy veteran, and Carey, a former Marine Corps Reservist, served in the armed forces).

In addition, the show discourages contestants from wearing green shirts because some game props and trip prizes use Chroma key effects, which can blend into a contestant's shirt. The show began using this effect for trips as a result of switching to 1080i in 2008.

Occasionally shows are taped with special audience restrictions. In 1991, an episode was taped restricting the audience to those who had served in the Armed Forces for a Memorial Day episode. This practice is slated to appear again at a September 10, 2008 taping restricting the audience to those who served in the Armed Forces for a Veteran's Day episode. Similar rules were in play restricting the audience to featured branch of the Armed Forces or public safety departments and their family members during the 2002 primetime series.

Taping

The program is usually produced in about an hour. Two episodes are usually taped each day, and there are normally three taping days per week. The program is taped in advance of its airdate; for example, the show broadcast on February 28, 2008, was taped on the preceding January 16. As with many other shows that start production in the summer, the lead time varies during the season. The longest lead time was 50 weeks for an episode taped June 27, 2005 that aired June 12, 2006. Another episode had a 40-week lead time for an episode taped July 21, 2005 that aired May 29, 2006. In both cases, trips to New Orleans were offered, and the shows were taped months before Hurricane Katrina struck, and both episodes were pulled until the end of the season, despite 2005 cars being offered during the 2007 model year. The audience is entertained by the announcer before taping begins; after the taping session, there is a drawing for a door prize.

Production company

The current version of the series was originally a Mark GoodsonBill Todman production in association with CBS. After Todman died in 1979, the unit became known as simply Mark Goodson Productions, and was announced as such on The Price Is Right from 1984 to 2007. Today, the series is produced by FremantleMedia North America and copyrighted by The Price is Right Productions, Inc., a joint venture of RTL Group and CBS.

For the sake of tradition, and through special permission from RTL's subsidiary FremantleMedia North America, the show continued to use the Mark Goodson Productions name, logo, and announcement at the end of each episode until Barker's retirement, even after Fremantle purchased and merged with the Goodson company. The show is now credited as a FremantleMedia production in association with CBS.

Set features

Except for the 2002 Las Vegas special, The Price Is Right has been taped at Studio 33 in CBS Television City for its entire run. The studio, which is also used for other television productions, was renamed the Bob Barker Studio in the host's honor on the ceremonial 5,000th episode in 1998. Since Carey became host, there has been talk of the show traveling in the future.

Contestants' Row is placed at the front of the audience, with the scoring displays located on the edge of the stage deck. On stage are three sets of large, paneled, sliding doors, as well as a platform with a rotating wall (the Turntable). Pricing games and prizes are typically placed in these areas. There are also a "Giant Price Tag" prop, a large fly curtain, and other covers used to conceal prizes, games and other staging elements.

The announcer sits at an off-camera podium stage left, while the production crew is in an area stage right.

The set had remained almost unchanged throughout Barker's tenure, although the turntable walls have consistently changed. Until those changes, older shows could be rerun without seeming dated. In 2002, the turntable walls were changed featuring a Hollywood mural and the Big Doors received a new design. The turntable mural was removed midway through the season, but various murals were continuously used for primetime episodes until 2004. For 2006, the Big Doors were repainted with a new design.

An overhaul of the set was made in 2007, when Carey took over as host. The predominant earth tone colors were brightened to project a modern look, although the set props largely remained as they were for Barker's shows.

Further changes on the set were added late in Season 36, as June 2008 tapings were the first with the new transition into full HDTV broadcasts in daytime for Season 37. The production crew is now concealed behind doors that may be closed to prevent this area of the stage from being seen in the 16:9 broadcasts; during the July 2, 2008 broadcast, Kathy Greco was shown closing the new door that conceals the production section.

The set used for prime time specials during Season 36 (sans the black floor) was adopted for daytime episodes taped in Season 37.

Broadcast history

The most recognized incarnation of the show premiered September 4, 1972 on CBS with Bob Barker as host. The show was first called The New Price Is Right to distinguish itself from the earlier Bill Cullen version (1956–1965), but it proved so popular in its own right that, within a year, the producers decided to drop the word "New".

During the week of September 8, 1975 CBS experimented with a one-hour version of the show in order to celebrate its third anniversary. The ratings for the week were strong enough to convince the network that the arrangement would work well permanently. CBS made the move on November 3, fitting the show to its current six pricing game/two Showcase Showdown format.

The show has since remained virtually unchanged. New pricing games are generally added each year, while games that have become unpopular or confusing are removed. In addition, prizes and pricing games have kept pace with inflation, resulting in some of the original pricing games that were designed for four-digit cars to be adjusted to allow for five-digit prizes. Apart from minor aesthetics, the current show otherwise maintains a nearly identical appearance to a show produced in the 1970s.

In Season 36 CBS began broadcasting each episode on the Innertube video on demand service available at CBS.com.

In Season 36 the show began a transition to high definition, first with the prime time series, then taping the last three weeks of the show (but not yet broadcast) in high definition. Starting with Season 37 the show began broadcasting exclusively in high definition.

Syndicated productions

Three syndicated versions of The Price Is Right have aired, with the first two being carbon copies of their daytime counterparts.

1972-1980

The first aired weekly until September 13, 1980. It was distributed by Viacom Enterprises, which started as the syndication arm of CBS, and was hosted by Dennis James until 1977 and then by Bob Barker. James, a figure from the early days of TV, was originally intended to host both the network and syndicated versions of the program, but CBS executives preferred Barker for the daytime show.

This version retained the 1972 half-hour format for its entire run, and did not add the daytime show's Showcase Showdown or (seemingly) the Double Showcase Rule. In most of the U.S., stations carried the syndicated Price as one of five different programs every night of the week in one of the available timeslots created by the 1971 FCC Prime Time Access Rule. Usually, the time slots were one of the two half-hours between 7–8 p.m. in the Eastern and Pacific time zones, and 6–7 p.m. in the Central Time Zone (Mountain Time Zone stations' practices varied).

James' contract expired in 1977, and Barker took over the nighttime version that fall (after Truth or Consequences ended its run). The series was cancelled after 300 episodes in 1980 (the last episode taped on March 12), after weekly syndicated game shows had fallen out of popularity in favor of daily offerings. Having a run of eight seasons, it was one of the longest running weekly syndicated game shows of the era and the longest-running version of Price in primetime (beating out the 1957-1964 run by one season).

1985-1986

Five years later veteran host Tom Kennedy starred in a daily version which aired from September 9, 1985 to May 30, 1986; It was also faithful to the traditional half-hour format and was syndicated by Television Program Enterprises, now part of CBS Television Distribution, along with reruns of Match Game.

Kennedy's version was the first to extensively adjust the show's pricing games to accommodate five-digit prizes (the daytime series had only done so sporadically until this point), a pattern followed by CBS' primetime specials that would air during the Summer repeats.

The series failed to earn prime access slots as its predecessor did, due to increased competition from shows such as Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy!, and often found itself in late night slots.

This version produced 170 episodes with repeats airing for four weeks during the season and from June 2 to September 5, 1986; to date, this is the only one of the three syndicated versions to be reran (GSN aired it in the 1990s).

The New Price Is Right

Eight years after the failure of Tom Kennedy's Price is Right, the producers of the series decided to try again with a completely revamped version of the show. The show, titled The New Price is Right, was hosted by The Young & The Restless star Doug Davidson, distributed by Paramount Domestic Television (now, like Viacom Enterprises and Television Program Enterprises before it, part of CBS Television Distribution), and debuted in September of 1994. This series featured several significant changes, including eliminating Contestants' Row, a different format for the Showcase Showdown, a one-player showcase, and a completely different set. This version was even less successful and ended its run in January 1995 after only 16 weeks. Several stylistic elements of this series would later be integrated into the daytime and CBS prime time series.

CBS Prime Time Specials and Series

CBS attempted to break NBC's dominance of Thursday night prime time by The Cosby Show and Family Ties with a six-episode summer series, The Price Is Right Special, beginning in August 1986. In these episodes, host Barker and announcer Roddy wore tuxedos, and colored spotlights surrounded the "Big Doors".

On August 23, 1996, CBS aired an hour-long 25th Anniversary Special, using the half-hour gameplay format and featuring a number of retrospective clips. The 30th Anniversary Special was recorded at Harrah's Rio in Las Vegas and aired on January 31, 2002. This one-time road trip enticed 5,000 potential contestants to line up for 900 available tickets, causing an incident that left one person injured.

A second primetime series was a six-show series saluting various branches of the United States armed forces, police officers, and firefighters aired during the summer of 2002, as a tribute to the heroes of the terrorist attacks of 2001. During The Price Is Right Salutes, a $1.00 on the bonus spin in the Showcase Showdown was worth $100,000 instead of the usual $10,000; this prize went unclaimed.

The success of the prime time series, which aired mostly in the summer, along with the rise of big-money "million dollar" game shows, led to CBS launching the current prime time series in 2003, The Price Is Right $1,000,000 Spectacular, which has aired 26 episodes.

In the first sixteen $1,000,000 Spectaculars, the bonus spin payoff for the Showcase Showdown was again increased, this time to $1 million. Beginning on the fourth $1,000,000 Spectacular, the winner of the Showcase (or a random audience member in case of a double overbid, which happened on one occasion) earned a million-dollar spin if there was no bonus spin during either Showcase Showdown; during these post-Showcase spins, hitting a green section did not earn any money. The million-dollar spin was eliminated for Season 36 and was replaced with two other methods of winning the prize: One pricing game per episode was selected as a "million-dollar game" with an additional requirement that the contestant needed to fulfill to win the money; and in the Showcase round, the double showcase win rule was adjusted to include the million dollar prize if the winning contestant came within $1,000 (later $500) of the actual retail price of their showcase.

On the prime time series, larger and more expensive prizes are generally offered than on the daytime show. Contestants' Row frequently offers prizes usually seen in pricing games, and many pricing games, including those played for money, offer larger prizes than on the daytime show. The Showcase frequently offers multiple or very expensive cars.

The 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike led CBS to commission another six-episode (and later expanded to ten episodes based on the success in the Nielsen ratings) prime time series. This prime time series featured Drew Carey in a tuxedo, like the 1986 series, and featured massive set changes as the show was broadcast in high definition television for the first time. The set used for these shows was moved to the daytime show in 2008. A contestant on the first episode won $1,000,000 with a winning Showcase bid that was less than $1,000 below his actual showcase price; another $1,000,000 win was recorded at the end of the third show. A third $1,000,000 win was recorded on the fifth airing April 4 in a pricing game. That led to the prize indemnity insurance provider ordering the million-dollar showcase range be changed from $1,000 to $500 for the second series of tapings.

Gameshow Marathon

In 2006, The Price is Right was featured on the series Gameshow Marathon, hosted by Ricki Lake. This version combined aspects of the Barker and Davidson versions with the celebrity contestants playing only three pricing games, followed by a Showcase Showdown where the two contestants with the highest scores would go on to the Showcase. The winner of the Showcase would be entitled to a spot in Finalists Row.

Critical reaction and controversy

The program has been generally praised and remains a stalwart in television ratings over its long history. The introduction of the program ushered in a new era of game show—moving away from the knowledge-based quiz show format, creating "a noisy, carnival atmosphere that challenged cultural norms and assumptions represented in previous generations of quiz shows". Until Barker's retirement in 2007 (and for several months after Carey took over hosting duties as well), JumpTheShark.com had listed the series as one that had "never jumped" the shark, one of a limited number of shows that earned the distinction. Responses since Carey's arrival have been more divided.

Beginning in the mid-1990s, the program production company—and in some cases, Barker, as executive producer—was sued by seven women. A majority of the lawsuits involved Barker's Beauties and other staff members in cases of sexual harassment, wrongful termination and racial discrimination. Allegations of sexual harassment brought by model Dian Parkinson led to Barker calling a press conference to admit a past consensual sexual relationship with her, while denying any harassment and alleging instead that she was only angry with him for calling off the relationship. Barker was widowed in 1981 following the death of his wife, Dorothy Jo. It has also been alleged that Barker and senior staff created a hostile work environment, particularly to those who would testify for the plaintiffs suing Barker. Responding to the controversy just before his retirement, Barker told an interviewer, "They've been such a problem. I don't want to say anything about them. They're disgusting; I don't want to mention them."

All the lawsuits, except for one, were settled out of court at the production company's insistence.

Episode Status

All episodes of the daytime series and all of the prime-time specials are known to exist, as Goodson-Todman and CBS kept the tapes for later reruns (unlike the other networks, who were much more prone to wiping of daytime game shows well into the late 70's). Reruns aired on Game Show Network through the 1990s, but the agreement was not renewed in 2000 and episodes have not been seen since.

Both daily syndicated versions, the Kennedy version of the mid-80's and The New Price Is Right of the 1990s exist in their entirety; the Kennedy version aired in reruns on Game Show Network in the 1990s while The New Price is Right has not been seen since its cancellation.

The 1972-1980 series is also believed to exist in its entirety, although it hasn't been reran since September 14, 1980; only five episodes are in the trading circuit (including the Finale) along with the original February 11, 1972 pitchfilm featuring Dennis James and Mark Goodson demonstrating two potential pricing games (which eventually became Take Two and Ten Chances, respectively - the latter called "Cut Price" by James during the pitch) and a clip of James sub-hosting an episode of Let's Make a Deal from 1971 or 1972.

Additionally, James' Christmas Day substitute episode was reran by GSN in 1997 as a tribute after he died, and two clips from episodes not in the trading circuit (a contestant in Clock Game who can't seem to understand "Lower" and a contestant causing James to trip on one of the Turntable steps) were used in Game Show Moments Gone Bananas.

The Price is Right library is held separately from other FremantleMedia programs, due in part to CBS' part ownership of the series. The 1994 New Price is Right was, for many years, further held separately from the rest of the library, as it was owned by Paramount Domestic Television; after the reorganization of CBS Corporation and Viacom (Viacom was Paramount's parent company), this unit is now part of CBS Television Distribution. The separate ownership is part of the reason why Price is no longer shown on Game Show Network.

CBS controls online video of Carey-hosted episodes and posts select clips on YouTube as well as certain full episodes on AOL Video.

Price in other media

The Price Is Right has expanded beyond television to home and casino-based games.

Board games

Eight board games have been produced. One of them was a variation of a card game, using prizes and price tags from the original version. The second was based more closely on the original version of the show.

Three games were produced during the 1970s, by Milton Bradley, with Contestants' Row; a small number of pricing games; and, in the case of the third version, a spinner for the Big Wheel, albeit with the numbers in the wrong order. In the first two versions, decks of cards had various grocery items, small prizes and larger prizes; the third version simply had cards for each game that included ten sets of "right" answers, all using the same price choices. The instruction book would tell the "host" for the round what color cards would be necessary.

The 1986 version, again by Milton Bradley, was similar in scope to the earlier version, with new prizes and more games, but strangely lacking the Big Wheel. The instruction book refers to Contestants' Row as the "Qualifying Round", and the pricing games as "Solo Games". The book also instructs players to use items priced under $100 as IUFB's. The 1998 version of the game, this time by Endless Games, was virtually identical to the 1986 release, with the same games, the same prizes, and even the same prices; the only changes were the number tiles being changed to cardboard bits and the cars from the deck of 4-digit prizes being removed.

The 2004 edition, again by Endless Games, was a complete departure. Instead of different prize cards and background games, the game consisted of everything you would need to play over 40 pricing games, and enough materials to create all the games not technically included if the "host" wished to and knew their rules; the Big Wheel spinner was also restored, this time with the numbers in the correct order. Additionally, the prices, instead of being random numbers that could change each time the game was played, were actual prices taken from episodes of the TV show. To fit everything in the box, grocery items and prizes were listed in the instruction book, and games were played on dry erase boards. A spinner would determine what game would be played next, although its use was not necessarily required if the "host" wished to build his own game lineup.

Computer and electronic games

In 1990, GameTek created a The Price Is Right computer game for the DOS and Commodore 64 platforms and other systems to fit in their line of other game show games.

A hand-held Tiger game was made in 1998 with four pricing games. A DVD game with 12 pricing games, live casino show host Todd Newton, and video of prizes taken directly from the show was produced by Endless Games in 2005, with a second DVD edition (featuring current host Carey) with a new game assortment in 2008.

An online edition of the game was available from Gamesville during the early 2000s but has since been discontinued.

Mobliss provides a suite of pricing games for cellular phones. Previously, it offered Cliff Hangers and Plinko.

On March 26, 2008, Ludia Inc (in connection with Ubisoft) launched The Price Is Right video game for PC. A version for the Wii and Nintendo DS platforms was released in September 2008. The virtual set in the game resembles the set used in Seasons 31 through 34 rather than the current set. During the taping of this promotion the Plinko board was rigged so that all chips dropped landed in the highest value slot on the board. After production wrapped, the wires used to rig the board were mistakenly left in place, leading to an incident during a taping of the daytime show which had to be edited and re-shot.

Irwin Toys released an electronic tabletop version, featuring Contestants' Row, the big wheel, showcases, and 7 pricing games in 2008.

Slot machines

A series of popular video slot machines, all based on the current version of The Price Is Right, were manufactured for North American casinos by International Game Technology.

The most common machines recreate the Showcase Showdown as a bonus feature, with a wheel built into the game above the main video screen. At least four different versions of this machine exist as of 2006, each featuring additional bonus rounds based on popular pricing games: Plinko, Cliff Hangers, Punch a Bunch, and Dice Game. The Cliff Hangers game also exists as a mechanical reel slot machine, with a video screen positioned above the reels for the bonus.

In addition, a Money Game slot machine exists, albeit in limited release. This game has a potential top prize of a new car, and has a different bonus round than the other The Price Is Right slot machines in service.

Another slot machine called The Price Is Right Fishing Game has been created by IGT. The game features a fishing-themed bonus and is not based on any pricing game featured on the program. IGT has also released a game called The Price Is Right Fort Knox Progressives, but there are no elements of the television program evident in its gameplay.

Live casino game

After the 2002 one-off Las Vegas episode, Harrah's and RTL Group have agreed to do live licensed shows (dubbed The Price Is Right Live!) at their venues, with several performers, including Roger Lodge (Blind Date) and Todd Newton (Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck) hosting and Randy West, Daniel Rosen, or Dave Walls announcing.

The casino show was used often during the 2006-07 season to try out new hosts, and in the 2003-04 season was used to try out show announcers.

DVD episodes

A four-disc box set DVD, titled The Best of The Price Is Right, was released on March 25, 2008. The set features four episodes of the 1956 Bill Cullen series, 17 episodes of the Barker daytime series from 1972-1975, and the final five episodes of the daytime series hosted by Barker.

References

External links

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