The Price Is Right (1972)
The Price Is Right is a game show on CBS hosted for 35 years by Bob Barker until he retired in 2007, when it was announced he was replaced by Drew Carey. The show revolves around contestants guessing the retail price of various products. Contestants are drawn from the studio audience, prompting the announcer to invite them to "come on down!" It is a revival of The Price Is Right which aired from 1956 to 1963 on NBC and 1963 to 1965 on ABC. It was first billed as The New Price Is Right to differentiate itself from the original show and dropped the "New" from the title in June of 1973. Bob Barker even explained on the debut show, "Let me assure you fans of the old Price Is Right this is your favorite game, still based on the pricing of merchandise with wonderful awards to smart shoppers."
In its history The Price Is Right has become a cultural phenomenon. Due to its daytime timeslot, its main viewers tend to be retirees, housewives, and college students. Many children too young for school (or who are on summer vacation from school) also watch it, leading to a nostalgic attachment for the show that may last into adulthood. Large groups may make trips to join the audience, and it is not uncommon to see entire rows dressed similiarly; matching college sweatshirts, specially-printed t-shirts, and even military uniforms. The program's popularity has sometimes been attributed to the fact that "everyone knows what stuff costs."
All contestants begin in Contestants Row, at the front of the audience (not on stage). Four contestants will be present there at a time. Six times during the show a product will be brought out on stage and the contestants will be asked to guess the retail price of it. The contestant who guesses the closest without going higher than the price will be called on stage to play a pricing game. Those who guess the exact number win $500 in addition to the prize. (At the beginning of the next round a new contestant will be called from the audience.)
The pricing games are gimmicky, carnival-like games that involve the contestant trying to guess the price of one or several items, from household products to expensive luxury items. Each game has its own rules that Drew Carey will explain to the contestant before play; the rules are never overly complicated. The luxury items in these games often double as the prizes; the low-cost items win tokens that give the contestant a better chance of winning a big prize. Six pricing games are played per episode. On occasion in the event of a mistake made by the show's staff (such as when the winning price of a prize is accidentally revealed) during a game, it is considered an automatic win and the contestant is awarded the prize by default.
Regardless of whether they win or lose the pricing game, each of these contestants is allowed to participate in the Showcase Showdown. Two sessions of three contestants each are held. Each contestant spins a giant wheel printed with cent values; the contestant gets up to two spins to try and get as close to $1 as possible. The winners of each round move on to the Showcase at the end of the episode. A contestant hitting $1 in one or a combination of two spins wins a $1000 bonus and gets a bonus spin. Up until 2007, a player hitting the two green spots (05 or 15) in the bonus spin won a $5000 while stopping on $1.00 won $10,000. Those cash prizes have since been raised to $10,000 and $25,000 respectively.
The Showcases are two huge assortments of prizes. After presentation of the first Showcase, the contestant who scored highest during the Showdown is given a choice: take the first one, or pass it on to the other contestant. Each contestant must try to guess the value of their assigned Showcase, guessing closest without going over. The winner wins their respective Showcase; a winner within $250 of the total value of their Showcase wins both Showcases.
Back in its half-hour days (September 1972-October 1975), only three pricing games were employed with the day's top two winners progressing to the Showcase. Special hour-long shows aired the week of September 8, 1975; the show went an hour long permanently on November 3, 1975.
This edition of The Price Is Right was originally intended for just once-a-week telecast in syndication during the "Prime Time Access" period (7:30 p.m. Eastern/6:30 p.m. Central) back when it was pitched in 1972. Late that spring, CBS (which had just lifted its ban on giveaway shows) picked it up as a daytime offering for that fall with Bob Barker as host, while the planned weekly syndicated version was also green-lit and debuted that fall with Dennis James hosting.
In 1997, TV began issuing content ratings for its programs. Since then, The Price Is Right has been rated "TV-G," meaning suitable for all ages.
During the Bob Barker era of The Price Is Right, once an audience member was selected to be a contestant, that contestant was then prohibited from appearing as a contestant on the show again during the contestant's lifetime. On November 12, 2008 (during Drew Carey's second season as host), that eligibility rule was revised, now allowing a contestant who has not appeared on the show in the last ten years to reappear as a contestant after the ten-year period lapses; as a result, contestants who previously appeared on the show during the Barker era (and in a few rare cases, from the Bill Cullen era of the show) have returned to play again.
Rich Fields was dismissed as announcer at the end of season 38. J.D. Roberto, Brad Sherwood and Jeff Davis had been rotating duties until a permanent announcer was named. Fields is now the meteorologist for KCBS television in Los Angeles. On April 18, 2011, it was officially disclosed that George Gray (Extreme Gong, syndicated version of The Weakest Link) is now the new permanent announcer.
The Price Is Right kicked off its 50th season on CBS on September 13, 2021, giving a contestant on each show a chance of winning $1 million during the new season's Premiere Week. A two-hour primetime special aired on September 30 at 9 PM EDT.
|Dennis James||1974 (sub host)|
|Craig Ferguson||2014 (guest host)|
|Gena Lee Nolin||1994-1996|
In addition to the above-listed regular models, substitute models (such as Kyle Aletter, Cindy Margolis, Tiffany Coyne, The Young and the Restless stars Melissa Ordway and Hunter King and The Bold and the Beautiful star Courtney Hope) have periodically appeared on the show whenever one of the regular models was unavailable (such as when a model is off on maternity leave for a period of time). Guest models from the sports world and the entertainment industry have also appeared on occasion on the show, often to promote prizes related to their professions.
|Season One: The New Price Is Right||September 4, 1972||September 21, 1973||250|
|Season Two||September 24, 1973||August 29, 1974||233|
|Season Three||September 2, 1974||August 29, 1975||253|
|Season Four||September 1, 1975||July 2, 1976||213|
|Season Five||August 31, 1976||July 1, 1977||214|
|Season Six||August 29, 1977||August 25, 1978||227|
|Season Seven||August 28, 1978||June 29, 1979||209|
|Season Eight||August 27, 1979||June 27, 1980||191|
|Season Nine||August 25, 1980||June 12, 1981||205|
|Season Ten||September 7, 1981||June 11, 1982||196|
|Season Eleven||September 6, 1982||August 26, 1983||208|
|Season Twelve||September 12, 1983||June 22, 1984||197|
|Season Thirteen||September 10, 1984||July 5, 1985||195|
|Season Fourteen||September 9, 1985||June 13, 1986||186|
|Season Fifteen||September 8, 1986||June 26, 1987||191|
|Season Sixteen||September 14, 1987||July 1, 1988||186|
|Season Seventeen||September 12, 1988||June 16, 1989||184|
|Season Eighteen||September 11, 1989||June 1, 1990||177|
|Season Nineteen||September 10, 1990||June 14, 1991||186|
|Season Twenty||September 9, 1991||June 26, 1992||178|
|Season Twenty-One||September 14, 1992||June 18, 1993||177|
|Season Twenty-Two||September 13, 1993||June 17, 1994||184|
|Season Twenty-Three||September 12, 1994||June 16, 1995||184|
|Season Twenty-Four||September 11, 1995||June 14, 1996||183|
|Season Twenty-Five||September 9, 1996||June 13, 1997||185|
|Season Twenty-Six||September 8, 1997||June 12, 1998||184|
|Season Twenty-Seven||September 21, 1998||June 17, 1999||175|
|Season Twenty-Eight||September 20, 1999||September 29, 2000||165|
|Season Twenty-Nine||October 2, 2000||June 13, 2001||164|
|Season Thirty||September 17, 2001||June 27, 2002||175|
|Season Thirty-One||September 23, 2002||June 18, 2003||175|
|Season Thirty-Two||September 22, 2003||June 16, 2004||175|
|Season Thirty-Three||September 20, 2004||June 14, 2005||175|
|Season Thirty-Four||September 19, 2005||June 23, 2006||175|
|Season Thirty-Five||September 18, 2006||June 15, 2007||175|
|Season Thirty-Six||October 15, 2007||July 17, 2008||190|
|Season Thirty-Seven||September 22, 2008||June 29, 2009||191|
|Season Thirty-Eight||September 21, 2009||August 23, 2010||190|
|Season Thirty-Nine||September 20, 2010||August 17, 2011||190|
|Season Forty||September 19, 2011||September 6, 2012||191|
|Season Forty-One||September 17, 2012||August 15, 2013||189|
|Season Forty-Two||September 23, 2013||August 15, 2014||190|
|Season Forty-Three||September 22, 2014||September 9, 2015||190|
|Season Forty-Four||September 21, 2015||August 16, 2016||190|
|Season Forty-Five||September 19, 2016||August 21, 2017||190|
|Season Forty-Six||September 18, 2017||—||190|
|Season Forty-Seven||September 17, 2018||—||—|
|Season Forty-Eight||September 23, 2019||—||—|
|Season Forty-Nine||November 16, 2020||—||—|
|Season Fifty||September 13, 2021||—||—|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
- Pricing Games: A complete list of pricing games played on the show.
|'Best Of' Collections (Region 1)|
|The Best of The Price Is Right||March 25, 2008||purchase||4|