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The Price is Right Hits the Big 5-0!

Marion Charatan

Posted on September 12, 2021 13:31

1 user

The venerable game show celebrates five decades on TV on Sept. 13 with a special two-hour tribute set for Sept. 30. Fans won’t want to miss this.

"Come on down!" Those iconic words will forever be associated with “The Price is Right” game show, which celebrates its 50th birthday tomorrow. The original show, produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman, aired on NBC, but the later version went to ABC, where it’s been since 1972. Originally, Bill Cullen hosted. Bob Barker took over in 1972, and in 2007, comedian Drew Carey told the helm.

The premise is simple: contestants have to guess the prices of various products or grocery items and if they’re right, they can win big. Prizes include cars, cash, computers, vacations, rooms of furniture and the list goes on. There are two segments in the program and after each, contestants spin the wheel. If you’re lucky enough to hit a dollar in one or two spins, you win $1,000, then get another chance to spin for up to $25,000 if your stars line up favorably.

Drew Carey is truly likable as the host. He engages in light banter with all the contestants and the show’s attractive models. What’s changed with the latest version of “The Price is Right” is that the show uses male models. Previously, only female models were employed. When Bob Barker hosted, at almost 98, he called them “Barker’s Beauties.”

Janice Pennington, now 79, was the longest-running model on “The Price is Right” from Sept. 4, 1972 through Dec. 13, 2000.  The former Playmate of the Month (May of 1971) would hand the mic to Barker at the beginning of the show for years and also was featured with syndicated hosts Dennis James and Tom Kennedy before Carey hosted. 

Unfortunately, Pennington had a nasty on-set accident in 1988. She was knocked off her feet by a camera. After two surgeries, the model was left with one shoulder an inch higher than the other and wasn’t able to wear her trademark swimsuits anymore on the show. ABC settled with her for an undisclosed amount. 

Another model, Dian Parkinson, quit in 1993. She had been on the show for 18 years and filed a sexual harassment suit against the married Barker, with whom she was having an affair — and lost. The accusations did not faze Barker, who claimed, “It had nothing to do with the show or with me. It was all in the minds of the women.”

Perhaps given the sordid history of the show, the current producers of Fremantle Media decided to use both male and female models — a very smart move. The current cast includes Devin Goda and James O’Halloran. 

In addition, Drew Carey presents a completely different persona than Bob Barker did. For me, Carey is the perfect choice to host “The Price is Right.” The bearded comedian seems SO low maintenance and so very pleasant; a refreshing change from the more stuffy Barker. The show needed a revamp. Carey, an ex-Marine, took ownership and has contributed to the show’s high ratings. 

See the two-hour primetime special that promises surprises on Sept. 30. 

Marion Charatan

Posted on September 12, 2021 13:31

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Source: BuzzFeed

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