Bill Cullen (1956-1965)
Bob Barker (1972-2007)
Drew Carey (2007-present)
Ricki Lake (Gameshow Marathon, 2006)
Dennis James (1972-1977)
Bob Barker (1977-1980)
Tom Kennedy (1985-1986)
Doug Davidson (1994-1995)
Sonny Fox (1957)
Merv Griffin (1959)
Don Pardo (1959, 1962)
Jack Narz (1960)
Arlene Francis (1961)
Robert Q. Lewis (1963)
Johnny Gilbert (1964)
Jack Clark (1965)
Dennis James (12/24-27/1974)
Craig Ferguson (4/1/2014)
|Don Pardo (1956-1963, NBC)|
Johnny Gilbert (1963-1965, ABC)
Johnny Olson (1972-1985)
Rod Roddy (1986-2003)
Burton Richardson (1994-1995, nighttime)
Rich Fields (2004-2010)
George Gray (2011-present)
|Gene Wood (1985)|
Bob Hilton (1986)
Rich Jeffries (1986)
Burton Richardson (2001-2004, 12/22/2006)
Randy West (2003-2004)
Don Bishop (2004)
Roger Rose (2004)
Art Sanders (2004)
Daniel Rosen (2004)
Jim Thornton (2004)
JD Roberto (2010)
Jeff Davis (2010)
Brad Sherwood (2010)
David H. Lawrence XVII (2010-2011)
Steve White (2011)
Shadoe Stevens (4/1/2014)
NBC Primetime: 9/23/1957 - 9/6/1963
ABC Daytime: 9/9/1963 - 9/3/1965
ABC Primetime: 9/18/1963 - 9/11/1964
|Mark Goodson/Bill Todman Productions (1956-1984)|
Mark Goodson Productions (1984-2007)
All American Television (1994-1998)
Pearson Television (1998-2002)
FremantleMedia North America (2002-present)
|Viacom Enterprises (1972-1980)|
Television Program Source (1985-1986)
Paramount Television (1994-1995)
The Price is Right (sometimes formerly called The New Price is Right in daytime or The Nighttime Price is Right in syndication as well) is an ultra-successful game show based on pricing and values.
Its success can possibly be from the fact that contestants are picked right from the studio audience by virtue of the call to "Come on Down!" as well as the numerous minigames played for cash and prizes.
Jennifer Mosley Ryen
Gena Lee Nolin
Rebecca Mary Pribonic
Stephanie Leigh Schlund
Kathy Kinney as "Mimi Bobeck" (4/1/2009)
- Some of the models from Price has also been models on the NBC Primetime version of Deal or No Deal as well (ex: Lanisha Cole, Lisa Gleave, Claudia Jordan).
1994 Nighttime ModelsEdit
50s & 60s Version GameplayEdit
On the original version of The Price Is Right, four contestants (one a returning champion, the other three chosen from the studio audience) bid on items or ensembles of items in an auction-style format.
A prize was presented for the contestants to bid on with a minimum bid specified. After the opening bid was made, contestants bid on the item in turn with each successive bid a certain amount higher than the previous bid. Instead of increasing their bid, a contestant could freeze their current bid on their turn if he/she believed his/her bid was close enough to win. A later rule added allowed contestants, on their opening bid only, to "underbid" the other bids, but this automatically froze their bid and prevented them from later increasing the original bid. Also, some rounds were one-bid rounds, where only one round of bidding was held, and sometimes the minimum bid and higher bid threshold rules were also waived.
The bidding process continued until a time's up buzzer sounded, at which point each contestant who had not yet "frozen" was given one final bid, or at least three of the contestants had frozen. The fourth contestant was allowed one final bid, unless he/she already had the high bid. Cullen then read the actual retail price of the prize; the contestant whose bid was closest without going over won the item. If everyone overbid, the prize was not won; however, Cullen sometimes had the overbids erased and instructed everyone to give lower bids prior to reading the actual price.
Frequently, a bell rang after the winner was revealed, indicating a bonus prize accompanied the item up for bids. While this was frequently simply an additional prize, a bonus game often accompanied the prize (e.g., a tune-matching game, where a clip of a well-known song was played and the contestant matched it with a face for a cash bonus).
After a set number of rounds (four on the nighttime version, six on the daytime), the contestant who accumulated the most money in cash and prizes became the champion and returned on the next show.
During the ABC run of the show, Celebrities came on as contestants and played against the three civilian contestants (one a returning champion) while trying to win prizes for a home viewer or studio audience member.
Even if they win the game, celebrities can only play for one day/night although they can come back for a future appearance. So if the celebrity did manage to win the most, then the contestant with the highest total of all the civilians came back as the champion.
Home Viewer "Showcases"Edit
The Price Is Right frequently featured a home viewer "Showcase," a multi-prize package for which home viewers were invited to submit their bids via postcard. The viewer who was closest to the actual retail price without going over won everything in the Showcase, but one item was sometimes handmade so the viewer could not check the price of all the items. The term "Showcase" would, in time, be replaced by "sweepstakes."
Very often, home viewers were stunningly accurate with their bids, including several viewers who guessed the price correct down to the penny. In such a case, the tied contestants were informed and asked to give the price of a stated item; this continued until one of the contestants broke the tie (re-ties and all-overbids were thrown out).
The Showcases remain in today's CBS version (including the phrase "This Showcase can be yours if The Price is Right"), while Home Viewer Showcases were done for a time in the 1980s (including to-the-penny guesses).
While many of the prizes on the original Price Is Right were normal, standard game show fare (e.g., furniture, appliances, home electronics, furs, trips and cars), there were many instances of outlandish prizes being offered. This was particularly true of the nighttime version, which had a larger prize budget.
- A 1926 Rolls-Royce with chauffeur
- A Ferris wheel
- Shares of corporate stock
- An island in the St. Lawrence Seaway
Sometimes, large amounts of food (such as a mile of hot dogs along with buns and enough condiments (perhaps to go with a barbecue pit)) were offered as the bonus.
Some other examples of outlandish or "exceptionally unique" bonus prizes:
- Accompanying a color TV, a live peacock (a play on the NBC logo) to serve as a "color guide."
- Accompanying a barbecue pit and the usual accessories, a live Angus steer.
- Accompanying a prize package of items needed to throw a backyard party, big band legend Woody Herman and His Orchestra.
- Accompanying a raccoon coat worth $29.95, a sable coat valued at $23,000.
- A bonus prize of a 16x32' in-ground swimming pool, installed in the winner's back yard in one day's time.
- A bonus prize of a trip to Israel to appear as an extra in the 1960 film Exodus. (Both offered on the January 13, 1960 airing.)
In the early 1960s, the dynamic of the national economy was such that the nighttime show could offer homes in new subdivisions (sometimes fully furnished) as prizes, sometimes with truly suspenseful bidding among the contestants.
In the last two seasons of the nighttime run, the series gave away small business franchises (like a take-out fried chicken establishment or a mobile dry-cleaning operation).
In some events, the outlandish prizes were merely for show; for instance, contestants may bid on the original retail price for a 1920's car, but would instead win a more contemporary model.
Current Version GameplayEdit
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 gives a bid for the item. Contestants bid in dollars and not cents (as the retail prices are rounded off to the nearest dollar) and may not bid the same amount as any player bid previously for that item. The contestant who bids closest to the actual retail price of the prize, without going over, wins the prize and advances on to the stage for an individual pricing game. A contestant that bids the exact price also receives a cash bonus ($100 from 1977-1998, $500 starting in 1998). If all four contestants overbid, they all must bid again, lower than the lowest bid. Four initial contestants are chosen from the audience at the start of the show to play the first One Bid round and bid in order from left to right; before each subsequent One Bid round, a new contestant is chosen from the audience to replace the previous winner (new contestants always went first).
The Contestants Row PodiumsEdit
When the show started out as a half-hour show, all four podiums were orange and the contestants' bids were in eggcrate displays, with a Goodson-Todman asterisk on the left (similar to the star on the left on the original version) to indicate the winning bid (both the bid and the asterisk would flash upon the ARP reveal). But starting in 1975 prior to becoming an hour long show, the podiums appear in different colors and in this order: red, green, orange, and blue; plus the bids were/are now in sportstype display. The colors of the 2nd & 4th podiums switched in 1981. Starting from the airdate of January 31, 2003 in the Daytime Series, and with the 1st Million Dollar Spectacular, the color of the 3rd podium changed from orange to yellowand has stayed there ever since. From Seasons 36 and 37, the colors all became a brighter screen from a previous normal screen. From 2009 on, Contestants’ Row is made up of LCD monitors, but the familiar sportstype display remains; plus, the screens can now hold five digits (prior to this, the screens held four) and also the brighter colors were changed back to its normal colors. Starting in season 40, the frame borders around the displays were removed. Also on special shows, special animations & symbols are showing on the monitors in place of the regular colors; when the bids are entered, the animation/symbol is removed.
Each winner of the six One Bid rounds is called onto the stage to play a pricing game to play for 1 prize, multiple prizes valued at least several thousand dollars or a cash prize.
List of Pricing GamesEdit
Here is a list of all the pricing games played on The Price is Right.
Active Pricing Games
Balance Game (2)
Bargain Game (formerly called Barker's Bargain Bar)
(The New) Card Game
Check Game (formerly called Blank Check)+
Coming or Going
Dice Game (once called "Deluxe" Dice Game during the 1980s for five-digit priced cars)
Do The Math
Easy as 1 2 3
5 Price Tags
Hole in One (or Two)
It's in the Bag
Let 'em Roll
Line em Up
Make Your Move
Money Game (once called "Big" Money Game in the 1980s for five digit priced cars)
More or Less
Now... or Then (formerly Now... And Then)
1 Right Price
One Wrong Price
Pass the Buck
Pay The Rent
Punch a Bunch/Punchboard
Side by Side
Stack the Deck
That's Too Much!
3 Strikes (once called "3 Strikes +" in the mid '80s & early '90s for five-digit-priced cars)
Time is Money
2 for the Price of 1
Retired Pricing Games
Add 'em Up
Balance Game (1)
Barker's Markers (also called Make Your Mark on Carey and Davidson versions)
Buy or Sell
Give or Keep
On The Nose
On the Spot
The Phone Home Game
Walk of Fame
Inactive Pricing Games
+ - At one time due to the difficulty of playing and lack of winners, Bullseye (1) switched to two-player mode, hence the name Double Bullseye. This particular format found its way to the Australian version for the Showcase round.
+ - Blank Check was renamed Check Game due to a lawsuit by Jack Barry Productions due to the fact that the company produced a game show with that name. Check Game made its return on June 20, 2013 with a refurbished prop.
? - Credit Card has not been played since 2008.
NOTE: As of 2009, when winning a brand new car, contestant also receive a license plate frame saying that this contestant won that car on the show. It also has a "Winner" card contained.
For more information on these pricing games, visit the List of Pricing Games page on Wikipedia. You can also visit The Price Is Right Wiki. Or if you want to see how pricing games changed over time click here.
There are currently 72 pricing games in rotation. Regardless of whether or not the pricing game is won, all One-Bid winners advance automatically to the Showcase Showdown, which occurs twice in each hour-long episode, after every three pricing games.
Prior to the expansion to 60-minute episodes, during the first two nighttime versions, and some late 1980s-early 1990s cut-down daytime episodes (due to the Pillsbury Bake-Off), each 30-minute episode featured only three One-Bids, each followed by a pricing game. After three pricing games had been played, the two on-stage contestants with the greatest winnings faced off in the Showcase.
Used since the show expanded to a 60-minute format in 1975, and only in 60-minute formats, the Showcase Showdown determines which contestants will compete in the Showcases at the end of the show. There are two Showcase Showdowns in each episode, one each after every three pricing games. Each Showcase Showdown features the three contestants who played the preceding three pricing games.
Each contestant spins a large wheel which is segmented and marked with values from five cents to a dollar, in increments of five cents. The wheel must make one complete downward revolution for the spin to qualify, and the contestant will be booed by the audience and must spin again if the spin fails to do so. Disabled contestants or those otherwise unable to make a qualifying spin are generally assisted by either a family member/friend or the host. The winner of each Showdown is the contestant who spins the highest value closest to one dollar in one spin or the total of two spins without exceeding one dollar. A contestant whose score totals more than $1.00 is eliminated from the game. In the event the first two contestants go over $1.00, the third contestant automatically advances to the showcase, but will spin once to see if they can get $1.00. A total of exactly one dollar wins $1,000 and also earned a bonus spin (since 1978) for a potential bonus cash prize. For the bonus spin, the contestant must get the wheel all the way around or the spin is void and they do not get another spin. If the wheel does go all the way around and it stops on a bonus space, the contestant wins a bonus cash prize. If it's a green bonus space, the contestant wins a small bonus cash prize. If it's a red bonus space, the contestant wins a large bonus cash prize. From 1978-2008, the small bonus cash prize was $5,000 and the large bonus cash prize was $10,000. Since September 2008, the bonus cash prizes increased to $10,000 for a small bonus cash prize and $25,000 for a large bonus cash prize.
The two Showdown winners in each show compete in the Showcase following the second Showdown. In the event of a tie, a spin-off is held in which each of the tied contestants is given one spin. The contestant with the highest value advances to the Showcase. In the event that a contestant spins $1.00 in their spin-off spin, they still get $1,000 and a bonus spin. If the tie happens to be between multiple players who scored $1.00, each player's bonus spin also counts as their spin-off. This is disadvantageous for the contestants, since two of the three prize-awarding spaces ($0.05 and $0.15) also happen to be two of the three worst tie-breaking spaces. Contestants who participate in bonus spin-offs and who don't get the wheel all the way around are allowed to spin again, but without the addition of any more bonus money. If the spin-off contestants tie in terms of the prize-awarding spaces, another spin-off is played but without any bonus money at stake.
While the wheel can be spun both upwards and downwards (as some have tried to spin it "backwards"), only downward spins count.
The two qualifying contestants are shown a large prize package. The contestant with the larger total of cash and prizes (the "top winner") may either bid on that showcase or pass it to their opponent (the "runner-up"). A second prize package is then shown, and whichever contestant has not yet bid must bid on that showcase. Unlike the One-Bid, one player may bid the same bid as the other, as they are each bidding on separate prize packages. The contestant who bids closer to the combined "actual retail price" of the items in their showcase without going over wins that showcase. If both contestants bid higher than the actual price of their own showcases, referred to as a "double overbid," they both lose.
If the winning contestant bids within $250 of the price of his/her showcase, he/she wins both showcases. This rule was introduced in 1974 for a winner whose bid was "less than $100" under the price; the threshold was raised to "$250 or less" starting with the 27th season premiere show in 1998. If both contestants bid exactly right, they both win both showcases. The nighttime syndicated shows had no such rule.
In 60-minute episodes, the Showcase participants are the winners of the two Showcase Showdowns. In the 30-minute format, the top two winners from the pricing games automatically advance to the Showcase.
Some showcases will contain a "Priceless Bonus" prize; when that happens, the contestant bidding on the showcase will be reminded not to include that prize in their bid.
Used sometime between late 1974 and early 1975. The showcase had three categories of prizes, each of with three prizes in it. The contestant randomly had to choose one prize from each category, and those prizes were then presented as the contestant's showcase. This wasn't was used much, most likely because there were 27 combinations of showcases, and they would have to get the prizes to the big doors quickly.
The Showcase PodiumsEdit
The font styles used for Double Showcase Winners were "Tonight", "Kingpin" and "Vag Rounded BT".
Since Drew Carey took over, special shows were produced honoring a theme (such as teachers, nurses, or the military). Some shows started featuring teams playing. Three particular weeks of shows have been done, and we go into greater detail here.
For the first week of 2012 and the week of February 18-22, 2013, The Price is Right held a special Celebrity Week in which five celebrities (one for each week) appear. Their job is to help the contestants win their pricing games, and whatever cash and prizes the contestants win, the celebrities receive the value of the prize(s) in cash for their favorite charities. In addition, the celeb of the day will spin the big wheel during the second Showcase Showdown, and whatever the star landed on will have two zeroes added to it at the end and turned into dollars (100 X the number landed on in cash); therefore the celeb can donate anywhere from $500-$10,000. And finally, the celebrity of the day will help present the two Showcases of that day.
Here are the celebrities that appeared in the first Celebrity Week:
|Days of the Week||Celebrities||Charities||Total Amount Won|
|Monday||Snoop Dogg||Snoop Youth Football League||$72,585|
|Tuesday||Jenny McCarthy||Generation Rescue||$45,607|
|Wednesday||Neil Patrick Harris||The Noreen Fraser Foundation||$65,238.40|
|Thursday||Chris Daughtry||Alzheimer's Association||$22,070|
Snoop Dogg who not only happened to be the first celebrity contestant to play Price is Right but also won the highest amount of money for charity to begin the first week of 2012.
Here are the celebrities that appeared in the second Celebrity Week:
|Days of the Week||Celebrities||Charities||Total Amount Won|
|Monday||Nick Lachey & Drew Lachey||Camp Joy||$62,688|
|Tuesday||NeNe Leakes||Saving Our Daughters||$77,714|
|Wednesday||Sharon Osbourne||The Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program||$62,793|
|Thursday||Charles Barkley||The Mustard Seed School||$67,633|
|Friday||Demi Lovato||Free the Children||$48,532|
NeNe Leakes won the highest amount of money for charity on February 19, 2013.
Big Money WeekEdit
For the weeks of April 22-26, 2013, October 14-18, 2013, November 10-14, 2014, and October 12-16, 2015, one game during each show was played for an extravagant prize, such as higher cash prizes, or a luxury car.
For the first BMW, the games were:
- Punch-a-Bunch for $250,000 (the slips changed to 5 "$500"'s, 10 "$1,000"'s & "$2,500"'s, 15 "$5,000"'s, 9 "$10,000"'s, and 1 "$250,000") - $1,000 was won
- Grand Game for $100,000 (first step is $10) - $1,000 was won
- Pay The Rent - $100,000 was won
- 3 Strikes for a $285,716 Ferrari 358 Spyder
- $500,000 Plinko ($100,000 center slot) - $1,600 was won
The second featured these games, with $500,000 Plinko retained ($2,000 was won):
- 1/2 Off for $100,000 - $100,000 was won
- Triple Play for an Audi, Range Rover and Corvette
- Cliff Hangers for up to $250,000 (standard rules apply, but a win earns $10,000 for every step separating Yodely Guy from the edge) - $30,000 was won
- Golden Road for a $189,565 Bentley Continental GT
The third featured these games, with $100,000 Grand Game retained ($100,000 was won):
- Rat Race for $175,000 (1st won $100K, 2nd won $50K, 3rd won $25K) - $100,000 was won
- It's in the Bag for $80,000 (all amounts are quintupled from normal)
- Time is Money for $200,000
- $1,000,000 Plinko ($200,000 center slot) - $600 was won.
The fourth featured these games, plus each player who won their game also won $5,000, and $1 in the bonus spin on the wheel won $50,000. $100,000 Grand Game was once again retained ($1,000 was won), as was $250,000 Punch-A-Bunch ($1,000 was won) & $1,000,000 Plinko ($2,100 was won):
- Shell Game for $100,000 (A win earns $50K, a clean sweep doubles it) - $50,000 was won
- Let 'em Roll for $100,000 (The money increased to $2,500/$5,000/$10,000, while the car symbols were replaced with dollar signs) - $100,000 was won.
Dream Car WeekEdit
For the weeks of November 18-22, 2013 & October 13-17, 2014, one game each day was played for an luxury car, similar to the above Big Money Week.
For the first week, the games were:
|Day of the Week||Pricing Game||Prize||Actual Retail Price||Outcome|
|Monday||Temptation||Porsche 911 Carrera||$92,475||Bailout|
|Tuesday||Hole in One (or Two)||BMW 640I convertible||$87,516||Won|
|Wednesday||Golden Road||2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550||$114,000+||Lost|
|Thursday||Lucky $even||2014 Jaguar XK Touring convertible||$86,453||Lost|
|Friday||3 Strikes||2014 Audi R8 V8 Quattro coupe||$146,923||Lost|
For the second week, the games were:
|Day of the Week||Pricing Game||Prize||Actual Retail Price||Outcome|
|Monday||Lucky $even||2015 Porsche Cayenne||$57,465||Won|
|Tuesday||Card Game||Range Rover Sport SE||$66,225||Lost|
|Wednesday||Switcheroo||2014 Maserati Quattroporte SQ4||$109,430||Lost|
|Thursday||One Away||2014 Tesla Model S||$79,320||Won|
|Friday||That's Too Much!||Aston Martin||$145,810||Lost|
Beginning in 1986, TPiR had occasional primetime specials, most having specific themes (anniversaries, colleges, spring break et al). All specials had increased budgets over the daytime shows, with potential earnings of over $100,000 at stake.
1986 Primetime SpecialsEdit
The first was a six-week series running from 8/14/1986 - 9/18/1986, as a response to the popularity of The Cosby Show. Drastic changes were made to the set; the chase lights around the doors were covered up and colored spotlights were added, the light border in the intro was removed, Bob & Rod were in tuxedos, and a spotlight was used in the opening, highlighting selected contestants, and shining in front of Door 2 as Bob made his entrance.
Certain game props and elements were altered as well, some permanently, others only for these specials.
25th Anniversary SpecialEdit
The silver anniversary special aired on 8/23/1996, and while an hour long, utilized the half-hour format, as the rest of the time was devoted to the airing of various clips.
30th Anniversary SpecialEdit
TPiR went on its only roadtrip for its 30th, airing 1/31/2002. The show went to the Harrah's Rio Casino in Las Vegas. While the basic format remained intact, controversy arose as the show underestimated the number of people who rushed to get tickets. 5000 applied, 900 tickets were sold, and in the chaos, one person was injured.
The Price is Right SalutesEdit
In the summer of 2002, as a response to 9/11, TPiR held a series of specials devoted to each branch of the Armed Forces. For these specials, announcing duties were shared by both Rod Roddy and Burton Richardson, as Rod was undergoing chemo at the time.
Again, the overall format remained, but Plinko was played for $100,000, Grand Game for $20,000, and the Showcase Showdown awarded $100,000 for $1.00 in the bonus spin.
Bob Barker's Million Dollar SpectacularEdit
The longest lasting of the specials (2003-2007), TPiR underwent it's biggest primetime change in 2003, as they began to offer $1,000,000 with each Showcase Showdown for hitting $1.00 in the bonus spin. Other changes included increased prizes as always, and with MDS's in mid-late '04, offered a $1M spin to either a showcase winner (if there wasn't one in the SCSD), or a randomly selected audience member (for a Double Overbid); however, on the February 14, 2006 special, the rules were amended so that if a Double Overbid occurred, whoever made the smaller overbid would spin for the money. In all these cases, only the dollar would win the money as the green sections were not worth anything extra.
A Celebration of Bob Barker's 50 Years in TelevisionEdit
Airing on 5/17/2007, this served as the unofficial 35th Anniversary Special, celebrating Bob's retirement from TPiR. As with the 25th Anniversary, while an hour long, this show utilized the half-hour format, as the rest of the time was devoted to the airing of various clips.
Drew Carey's Million Dollar SpectacularEdit
When Drew Carey took over, the way to a million changed dramatically. Now, one randomly selected game was chosen as the "Million Dollar Game", with certain conditions needing to be achieved to win, or getting within $1,000 (later $500) in the Showcase to win both and $1M. Three millionaires were crowned. The Showcase Showdown bonuses would be multiplied by 5 (see below).
Million Dollar GamesEdit
One Away/Cover Up: Guess the price on the first try.
Safe Crackers: A car is in the safe. If that and the other prize is won, the player could risk both prizes by dialing in the exact price of the car. Unlike normal rules, the numbers may repeat and/or some numbers may not be in the price at all.
Range Game: Played for a car. The player must not only guess the right price within the range, but must also guess the exact price.
Plinko: If three chips are dropped in the $20,000 slot, a Golden Chip is then put into play; dropping that in the center slot wins the million.
1/2 Off: If the $25,000 is won, the player could give it back in order to select one of the other boxes that has a check for the million inside it.
Punch-A-Bunch: Pick the top prize on the first punch.
Switcheroo: Win all five prizes on the first try.
Clock Game: Guess the prices of both prizes correctly with 20 or more seconds remaining.
Three syndicated versions of TPIR have aired. The first two followed the same format as the half-hour daytime version but were intended to air on most stations in the early evening and as such were referred to on-air as "The Nighttime Price is Right".
1972 Nighttime VersionEdit
A weekly syndicated version debuted the week after the daytime show continued to air until September 1980. It was distributed by Viacom Enterprises, which had started as the syndication arm of CBS. When Mark Goodson devised the revival of Price for the 1972-73 season. It was intended for a nighttime broadcast under new rules for early-prime syndication and Goodson named Dennis James to host the show. (When CBS commissioned a new daily daytime version, Goodson also wanted James to host the show, but CBS wanted Barker, who was hosting Truth or Consequences at the time, to take it.) James eventually hosted a taping day (four half-hour episodes) of the daytime show in December 1974 when Barker fell ill and was unable to participate in the episode tapings. The two versions were largely similar at the beginning, as both were called The New Price is Right. Some games had rule differences because of the larger budget and less commercial time on the nighttime show; for example, for three playings in its first season, Double Prices was played for two prizes instead of one. This version retained the 1972 half-hour format for its entire run and never adopted the daytime show's Double Showcase rule, the Showcase Showdown, or the perfect bid bonus. As of season two, the word "New" was dropped from the program's name. It was titled The Price is Right (as the daytime show was by the time as well), often referred to on the air as "The Nighttime Price is Right". In most of the U.S. stations carried the syndicated Price as one of several weekly programs aired in one of the times slots in the hour before prime time which were created by the 1971 FCC Prime Time Access Rule. Though the nighttime version originally had higher ratings, by 1975, the ratings started to drop. After the fifth nighttime season in 1977, when the contract with NBC's owned and operated stations ended, James' contract was not renewed. CBS' owned and operated stations picked the show up and the decision was made to hire Barker, whose Truth or Consequences was taped two years ahead and had stopped production in 1975. The series taped its 300th and final episode on March 12, 1980 and was canceled after weekly syndicated game shows had fallen out of popularity in favor of daily offerings. With a run of eight seasons, it was one of the longest-running weekly syndicated game shows of the era and the longest-running regularly scheduled prime-time version of Price (the 1957-64 run was seven seasons).
1985 Nighttime VersionEdit
Five years later, veteran host Tom Kennedy starred in a new daily syndicated version, which also used the traditional half-hour format and was syndicated by The Television Program Source. Like the previous syndicated series, this version had a slightly larger budget than its daily counterpart, and no Double Showcase Rule. A perfect bid during the One-Bids originally won the contestant $100 as in the daytime show; this bonus would increase to $500 and be made permanent on the daytime show in 1998. This version used the same models as the daytime show as well as Johnny Olson, who as noted above died during the season. Unlike the daytime series, which employed a series of guest announcers until a permanent replacement was decided upon, the syndicated series brought Gene Wood in to fill in for Olson. When the daytime series decided on Rod Roddy as the permanent replacement for Olson, he took over the syndicated series from Wood as well.
Like its predecessor, this syndicated edition of Price was intended to be aired in the Prime Time Access slots on local stations. However, local stations found themselves bombarded with game shows and other series looking for spots on stations in an increasingly crowded market. This often resulted in shows like Price airing anywhere that they could fit into a station's programming lineup, such as in the early morning period or in late-night slots. As a consequence, the show would not be able to find its intended audience and the ratings reports would reflect this.
Price was no exception, as many of the stations that brought the series placed it in these less desirable slots and the show could not find a foothold against the popular shows of the day, such as the runaway success of the syndicated Wheel of Fortune. Compared to some of the other shows on the market during this period, Price was a modest success, but it did not meet the very high expectations stations and producers had for the series. As a result, the show was not renewed beyond its first season. A total of 170 episodes were produced, and they aired in first-run from September 9, 1985 to May 30, 1986. During the six years it held the rights to Price, the Kennedy version is the only one of the three syndicated versions that was rerun by GSN.
- At the time, this version was going to be paired up with the revival of Match Game hosted by Gene Rayburn, but since Rayburn was hosting Break the Bank at the time, plans for the revival fell through at the last minute and reruns of the 1979-82 daily series aired in its place instead.
1994 Nighttime VersionEdit
A short lived 80-episode syndicated version of The Price is Right (also called The New Price is Right), featuring elements never before seen on any version of TPiR, including among other things, the removal of Contestant's Row, and the replacement of the Turntable, with a video wall.
Some pricing games on The New Price is Right (not to be confused with the current version's original title) were played with slight modifications to the rules as played on the daytime version. Games which usually featured grocery products were played with small prizes instead (e.g., Golden Road, Grand Game and Hole in One) and some games featured other experimental rule changes.
Barker's Markers: The name was changed to "Make Your Mark" the single time it was played on this version of the show, as Bob Barker was not the host of this version. This name was adopted on the daytime show in 2008 when Drew Carey became the host.
Clock Game: The game was digitized, with no prop on stage for it, and the contestant was provided with a $1,000 range in which to guess the price of each prize. The game frequently used prizes with four-digit prices. On some occasions a third prize was awarded as a bonus for winning (a rule change which was adopted on the daytime version in 2009).
Hole in One: Small prizes were used instead of grocery items. When an item was chosen, its price was immediately revealed and then placed in line if it was higher than the previous prize chosen. On the daytime version, the price flags are arranged in line according to the contestant's choice before the prices are revealed.
Magic #: This used a Double Prices-like prop to hold the prices of the two prizes rather than the models hold them. The Magic Number set by the contestant playing was superimposed in between.
Plinko: While the top prize remained the same at $5,000 per chip for a potential total of $25,000, two configurations of slots were utilized (one of which featured replaced the outer $100 slots with two $2,500 slots). The method of earning chips was also changed from choosing the right number in the right position to a higher/lower pricing format with smaller prizes worth up to $400.
Punch-a-Bunch: During some playings, Davidson pulled the slip out of the hole as soon as it was punched. The player then decided to keep the money or punch another hole. On the daytime show, the slips are not revealed until the contestant has made all of his or her initial punches.
Safe Crackers: Instead of having the secondary prize (the one in which its price doubles as the safe's combination) inside the safe with the main prize, the secondary prize was outside the safe and talked about after the model locked the door.
Superball: Instead of waiting until guessing all three small prizes before rolling the balls, the player rolled after each correct guess.
3 Strikes: The first number was lit at the beginning of the game and the number could repeat elsewhere in the price. Four chips representing the remaining numbers in the price were then placed into the bag with three strike chips. These rules were adopted on the daytime show in 2008, but the game's original rules returned in 2009. Also, the super-imposed "NO" sign for misplaced numbers was replaced with a red box which appeared around the space where the contestant thought the number he/she pulled out belonged in; it melted down the screen if the contestant was wrong.
The Showcase Showdown was played with the traditional Big Wheel (in which the spinners were ordered from highest to lowest), but it mostly used a new format called "The Price WAS Right." This was played like the One-Bid games in the daytime version. The three players stand in front of a quasi-Contestant's Row, arranged either by least to most winnings or by the order they were called. A vintage commercial for a product was presented to the three contestants who were then asked to bid on what the product cost at the time the commercial first aired. The contestant with the closest bid without going over advanced to the Showcase. In the event that all three contestants overbid (which rarely happened), the bids were erased and began again, with Davidson instructing contestants to bid lower than the lowest bid in the previous round. No bonus was awarded for a "Perfect Bid."
The Showcase was also changed, With only one person playing the Showcase, the pricing game Range Game was modified for this round. A new prop was built with a $60,000 scale ($10,000 to $70,000). During the show's final commercial break, the winner of the Showcase Showdown chose a range at random between $3,000 and $10,000 (in $1,000 increments).
A single showcase was then presented. Once it was finished, the rangefinder was started up the scale. The contestant pulled a lever when they thought the showcase value was contained within the range. If correct, the contestant won the showcase, which was generally worth between $20,000-$60,000, comparatively higher than average showcase values on the daytime show (which, at the time, offered showcases usually worth between $10,000-$30,000).
Although this Showcase format was unsuccessful in the United States, a modified version of this is used on versions of the show in other countries.
A music package by Edd Kalehoff was made for this version, along with some recycled cues from the daytime version thrown in for certain events. This package was recycled into the daytime, Million Dollar Spectaculars and Gameshow Marathon episodes after this version's cancellation.
- The set, some of the props and the theme song were recycled later in use for an unsold lottery-themed game show pilot called Cash Tornado, hosted by Jim Perry and announced by Gene Wood originally taped on April 5, 1994. In addition, Lisa Stahl, one of the models from the Davidson version of Price, also became a model in the pilot as well and former veteran Price producer Roger Dobkowitz was one of the contestants in the pilot playing one of the games called Force Field.
Gameshow Marathon (2006 version)Edit
The only real difference is that in the Showcase Showdown, the top two highest scoring players get to proceed to the showcase since only three games were played.
The Price Is Right Live!Edit
The Price Is Right Live! is a live stage version that's held at Harrah's Entertainment casinos, as well as the Foxwoods Resort & Casinos in Connecticut and the Seminole Casinos Coconut Creek in Coconut Creek, Florida. The show also briefly ran at two Atlantic City Casinos in 2005, 2006 and 2011. The show also ran at the Welk Resort in Branson, Missouri in 2012. (NOTE: They are all produced in association with FremanlteMedia.)
While the basic format remains intact, several changes are made to accomodate location, as well as the signifigantly lower budget. The biggest overall change is that different contestants are selected for each game, including the wheel & Showcase (except at Ballys Las Vegas, where everyone is eligible). Guessing a One-Bid exactly earns a $100 prize, either cash or casino credits.
The following games are played:
Any Number: Never played for a car, as such there is no free digit.
Hole in One - Never played for a car, and there is no bonus for putting all six items in proper order.
It's in the Bag: Played the same, with a top prize of $2,400 ($150/$300/$600/$1,200/$2,400).
Punch-a-Bunch: Played the same, with a top prize of (depending on the show) either $2,500 or $5,000.
Plinko: Played the same, with a top prize of $2,500 ($50-$100-$250-$0-$500-$0-$250-$100-$50).
NOTE: IITB & Plinko are never played in the same show, due to gambling laws that vary per state.
Spinning a dollar wins $100 and a bonus spin for $500 (5 or 15) or $1,000 (100). Overall winner earns $250.
The showcase has two formats. Originally, two players bid on a single showcase, and whoever was closer won a random prize from it. Getting within $250 won everything. Later, the showcase became a version of Ten Chances, with four prizes offered instead of three, with the big prize being a car.
1st Main (1956) - "Sixth Finger Tune" by Sonny Burke and His Orchestra
2nd Main (1956) - "Window Shopping" by Bob Cobert - Later used on Snap Judgment and You're Putting Me On
1972 - Sheila Cole
1972 (fast; recorded in 1983) - Edd Kalehoff
1994 (Davidson) - Edd Kalehoff (Recycled into daytime, Million Dollar and GS Marathon eps)
2003 (Million Dollar Spectacular Package) - Michael Karp
2007 - Edd Kalehoff
The second (current) run uses over 500 cues in its numerous games and situations with cues by numerous composers as well as cues from other (Goodson) shows. Other shows it borrows cues from include Match Game (73), Concentration (73), Celebrity Charades, Hit Man, Match Game Hollywood Squares Hour, Family Feud (76, 88 and 94), Backchat, Wide World of Sports, ABC Golf, Powerball: The Game Show, and Let's Make a Deal (09).
A majority of the show’s music cues are composed by Score Productions, Edd Kalehoff, Robert Israel, Ken Bichel, Walt Levinsky, Michael Karp, Ole Georg Music, Killer Tracks, and many others.
To see more musical information, visit this Discography Page.
The following are a list of countries that have aired their versions of TPIR:
- Canada (French language only) (Currently airing the American version on City TV and GameTV)
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- Before TPIR, Studio 33 (a.k.a The Bob Barker Studio) taped the formerly popular 1967-1978 CBS sketch comedy series The Carol Burnett Show.
- This is the longest running game show in America with the second version running for 40 years, with over 8,000 episodes and counting.
- Not every pricing game was won on the day it premiered. Some pricing games would get their first win after the 2nd playing, 3rd playing, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, etc. The only pricing game to get its first win after 31 playings was Pay The Rent.
- The buzzer sound was very different from the 1970s and 1980s. The current one was introduced in the early 1990s and retained for over 20 years. Watch some of the Price is Right episodes on youtube.com starting with the earliest all the way to the most recent. This buzzer was also used for wrong answers on the 1989 revival of Now You See It and Think Twice. It is doubled for bonus round losses on Wheel of Fortune.
- The Price is Right became a BigJon PC Game. It had a tournament mode and a classic mode. The classic mode is where you play Price is Right on exactly how it is played on TV. The tournament mode features a list of pricing games that can be unlocked by reaching a certain total.
- Foreign personalities from international versions stopped by to the American show occasionally. For the 40th season, Larry Emdur, 3rd host of the Australian version (who was also one of the past hosts of Australian Wheel of Fortune and currently one of the hosts for the Seven Network morning show) made a guest appearance.
- On May 3, 2013, The Price is Right had their very first special all-kids edition. Initially, it was scheduled to air on April 18, 2013, but it was held back due to the Boston Marathon Bombings.
- The show used to air on Prime Network & Omni in Canada. Today, it is airing on 3 television networks in Canada which are City TV, TLN and Game TV.
TPIR in Popular CultureEdit
The original version of The Price is Right (or in this case The Prize is Priced) made an appearance on an episode of The Flintstones in which Barney Rubble appeared as a contestant. Barney missed out on one prize, but struck paydirt in the next round by winning a houseboat by bidding a mere two cents.
In the 1987 film The Witches of Eastwick, you can see Daryl Van Horne (played by Jack Nicholson) ironing his shirt while watching The Price Is Right on a small TV in the background.
In the 1988 Pixar short film Tin Toy, the TV was on in the background and one of the channels had The Price is Right on it. It had sound only since the camera focused on the baby and the Tin Toy, not the TV. Credits go to Mark Goodson Productions and Price Productions.
In the 1989 film UHF, one of their fall TV programs on the U62 channel called The Lice Is Right is a parody of the show's title.
In the 2006 spoof film flop Date Movie, during a spoof of The Bachelor called The Extreme Bachelor (hosted by Chris Harrison) a sped-up version of the Sheila Cole era TPIR theme song is played in the background. The theme in particular was made by David Kitay.
TPIR has been parodied multiple times on SNL and MadTV respectively.
Robot Chicken has also spoofed TPIR a few times as well in the skits Bloopers! Three from the episode "Massage Chair" in 2006 and in Bob Barker's New Gig from the episode "Squaw Bury Shortcake" (a parody reference of the title cartoon character "Strawberry Shortcake") in 2007.
2 Stupid Dogs, a cartoon originally aired on Cartoon Network, did a parody of TPIR called Let's Make a Right Price (self-explanatory title). While the format is generally the same, the losers of the bids get doggy treats, which is what the two dogs actually want because they were scavenging for food on the studio lot.
TPIR was also mentioned in some episodes of The Simpsons, starting with the 1992 episode called “The Otto Show” where Otto starts to watch the show on TV in their house; in another episode called “HOMR”, from 2001, Homer Simpson acts as the animated dog and says, "Don't spay or neuter your pets!"; finally, in an episode from 2003 called “The Fat and The Furriest”, Patty and Selma mention they were on the show.
Price was also mentioned in some episodes of Family Guy. The first few episodes were for Barker's era. The first mention came when Brian was watching the end of an episode and Bob gave his "spayed and neutered" signoff, a frustrated Brian wished he would "just die already". Another episode features Peter Griffin as a contestant on Survivor, as he accidentally knocks over the reality show's backdrop revealing the set of TPIR (both shows run on CBS). When Prince was on the show, he bid $350, a bid Bob initially did not understand, and bid exactly correct. There was also another time when the Griffins rode with the Cliffhangers mountain climber, and Cleveland was inside a Plinko chip. Another clip from Barker's era on Family Guy was also set during contestant's row; after a contestant bid $780, the last contestant bid $781. That infuriated the contestant bidding $780, so he said, "F**K YOU!" There were a couple of episodes where Price was mentioned in Carey's era. The first clip was during Peter's Red Bull addiction; he appeared in the Showcase Showdown and gave the wheel an incredibly fast spin. After Peter sends out greetings to everyone to the camera, the wheel breaks off, rolls down and kills a section of the audience. Then Peter replies, "Whoa! Paramedics, come on down!" and goes crazy. Another episode during the current Carey era was when a girl got a very crummy showcase which included a hammock, chalk and a trip to Wilmington, Delaware. To much of her disgust, she replies, "I moved my abortion for this." Additionally, Rich was to be in one episode of Family Guy but he was dubbed over when his contract was not renewed in 2010 and he was let go. Besides the first mention, Barker and Carey have provided their voices each time they have been featured.
Homestar Runner, a popular flash Internet Cartoon series from 2000 has referenced TPIR three times, the first one starting in 2003 in an episode called “Email: The Show”. Homestar's microphone resembles the famous pencil-thin microphone that was used by Bob Barker on the show from 1972-2007. Prior to this, another episode that also aired in 2003 was called “Main Page 19” where there were several allusions to the show:
- The trip to Hawaii board is styled like ones in longtime use on TPIR.
- The gremlin is revealed and announced in a style that was similar to TPIR.
- The chair has a "$" sign, implying that its price must be guessed like on any of the numerous pricing games from TPIR.
- The sound effect after the wrong answer was apparently guessed was styled after the infamous "Losing Horns" from TPIR.
The last episode that aired in 2008 was called “Strong Badia the Free”, in which after Coach Z was chosen for the draft, he remarks: "I think they've all overbid! One dollar! One dollar!"
In 1994, Bob Barker guest-starred on The Nanny where he sat at a table when Nanny Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) spotted him.
During Bob's final year as host, the show made an appearance on How I Met Your Mother in which Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) was a contestant on the show. Barney claimed that Bob Barker was his father (which is completely untrue since Bob never had human children, and Neil knows it), so he came on the show just to meet and impress him. Barney was on a roll that day. The pricing game he played was Clock Game and he got the price of the first prize on his first guess (an achievement at least two contestants on the real show did) though we never saw it; on the second prize, Barney purposely guessed $1,000,000 all just to show Bob Barney's self pictures; by the time the clock almost ran out, Barney came through with the right answer and won. Later Barney spun $1.00 on the wheel and bids exactly right on the Showcase (something that would really happen during Drew Carey's second year as host); and just when Barney was about to tell Bob that he was Bob's son, he instead congratulated Bob on 35 years as host of The Price is Right. Barney never kept any of the prizes he won; instead he gave them all as wedding presents to his friends and newlyweds Marshall and Lily (Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan). The main plot of the episode in fact was the preparation of their wedding day. Neil went on to actually be a special guest on The Price is Right during celebrity week at the beginning of 2012 and won $65,238.40 for his favorite charity.
The NBC sitcom 30 Rock episode called “Christmas Special” from 2008 has Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) saying to Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), "If all you wanted was a hug from a black person, maybe you should host The Price Is Right!"
The Price is Right was also part of the plotlines during three consecutive episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful. Forrester Creations hasn't been doing too well, so Pam Douglas (Alley Mills) gave a call to The Price is Right and asked them to show off their fashion pieces on the models, but the show declined. So what Pam did instead was to appear on the show as a contestant and took Donna Logan (Jennifer Gareis) with her, much to Donna's chagrin. As it turned out, Donna was picked to be a contestant and surprisingly did very well. She won her pricing game which was Let 'em Roll after winning her One-Bid down at Contestant's Row, beat her two opponents at the Showcase Showdown Big Wheel and ended up winning both Showcases; during the closing of the show (like all loved ones of Showcase winning contestants) Pam came up on stage where she finally met Drew Carey. Additionally, Pam reveals her own fan crush on Rich. NOTES: Prior to these episodes, Bob Barker made a guest appearance on the popular soap opera. Two of the models had connections to B&B: Gwendolyn Osbourne-Smith started out as one of the models on that show before becoming a TPIR model and Manuela Arbeláez appeared in two episodes of B&B alongside Ellen Degeneres Show DJ Tony Okungbowa (Bob Barker ironically was one of Ellen's guests during the time of his final year); Jack Wagner of B&B made two guest appearances on TPIR.
Bob Barker appeared in a cameo role in the classic 1996 Adam Sandler film Happy Gilmore where he and Happy (Sandler) got into a big fight due to having some trouble during a golf match. For one moment, Happy thought he won (when Bob was unconscious Happy/Sandler said, "The Price is Wrong, B***h."), but it turned out to be a trick, for the tables were turned quite suddenly and Bob ended up winning the fight and saying, "Now you've had enough, B***h!" Adam, as a huge Price is Right fan, visited the show during a Price is Right special focusing on Bob's 50 years on television after a playing of Plinko. In 2015, They were together again to reveal that famous fight on Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars special.
- In addition to the famous Barker/Gilmore fight scene, the classic game show Let's Make a Deal was also briefly mentioned as a conversation piece.
In a 2009 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, a spoof of The Price is Right was parodied as The Price is Raw featuring Bob Barker as its guest host for the episode.
In 2003, TPIR was mentioned as a topic on VH1’s nostalgic miniseries I Love The 70's 1978 episode.
The 1984 song “I Lost on Jeopardy” (a parody Greg Kihn’s 1983 hit “Jeopardy”) by Weird Al Yankovic, referenced the show with these lyrics: "Don't know what I was thinkin' of; I guess I just wasn't too bright. Well, I sure hope I do better next weekend on The Price Is Right, -ight, -ight."
The 1998 rap song called “My Flows Is Tight” by Lord Digga, samples the Sheila Cole-era TPIR theme song.
The 2001 club dance hit, appropriately titled “Come On Down” by Crystal Waters, also samples the Sheila Cole-era TPIR theme song.
In 2001, TV Guide magazine ranked TPIR #1 as one of The 50 Greatest Game Shows of All Time. Prior to this, in 2013, TPIR was ranked #5 as one of The 60 Greatest Game Shows of All-Time.
In 2002, TPIR was mentioned as an hour-long documentary on E! True Hollywood Story.
In Alvin and the Chipmunks 3: Chipwrecked, Simon, Theodore and the Chipettes are riding on a basket to Zoe's shelter place on the deserted island. When the basket arrives at the place, Alvin, who already arrived at the shelter prior to the others, says the show's most famous catchphrase, "COME ON DOWN!"
In the 2011 film Jack and Jill, Jill (Adam Sandler) wanted to be on a game show as one of her to dos on her list. She went on Price with Drew Carey. Jill managed to make it to the Showcase Showdown, but she hurt her arm in process of spinning the big wheel. Despite the injury, she still won a lot of prizes. Notes: The scene used the Sheila Cole-era TPIR theme song and Come On Down cue, the set had Christmas decorations, and George Gray made an appearance.
In the sitcom "Cybill", Cybill Sheridan's cousin from Arkansas named Lyle Clocum (played by Jeff Foxworthy) is obsessed with being a contestant on The Price is Right. The episode in particular from 1996 is called "Pal Zoey".
- The episode in particular also has a semi-reference to Jeopardy! as well.
- Comedian Jeff Foxworthy would later go on to host Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, The American Bible Challenge and The American Baking Competition additionally, in 2011, Foxworthy would appear on an episode of Shark Tank as a guest "shark" in season 2.
In the sitcom "Yes Dear", Jimmy (Mike O'Malley) cheats on the show by spinning the wheel from behind to go to $1.00. He cheated because he got another traffic ticket. After Bob rebukes at Jimmy, it makes him cry and Bob comforts Jimmy by hugging him. After this, Bob tells him that after the show that they'll play Plinko and that there's a trampoline in the showcase for today, which makes Jimmy feel much better.
The Chuck E Cheese arcade game "Loose Change" uses the Sheila Cole era TPIR theme song.
In the Beavis and Butthead episode, "Screamers", TPIR was mentioned when Beavis and Butthead were watching Price on their TV. It had ladies screaming when they won their showcase and then the announcer says "Tomorrow on The Price is Right!"
In the Animaniacs episode, "Chairman of the Bored", the Warner Siblings meet a man named Francis Pumphandle, in which everyone calls him "Pip" (voiced by Ben Stein). Pip talks about cheeseballs and mentions about Bob Barker to the siblings and cannot stop shaking their hands.
The Price is Right/Airdates
The Price is Right/Quotes & Catchphrases
The Price is Right/Pricing Games
The Price is Right/Set Changes
The Price is Right/Winning Graphics
The Price is Right/Gallery
The Price is Right/Video Gallery
The Price is Right/Merchandise
The Price is Right/Special Guests
The Price is Right/List of Personnel
Official Site (CBS)
Current official site for The Price is Right Live!
Original official site for The Price is Right Live!
The Price is Right Store
Golden-Road.Net: The Unofficial Price is Right Fansite
tpir.tv: Another Unofficial Price is Right Fansite
The Price is Right Fanpage - Set graphics, photos and much much more!
Official Pearson site for "The Price Is Right" (via Internet Archive)
TPIR Episode Guide
#165 - Top 5 Reasons Why The New Price is Right Failed @ Game Show Garbage