Sunday, June 21, 2009

Christmas in June

I can't sleep, thinking about the taping of The Price Is Right tomorrow. We're taping the premier episode of the 38th Season of The Price Is Right. Starting my 3rd season. Airs in September.

You know, you can't see it unless you come to a taping, but everyone busts their asses on that show. Cameramen careen across the stage to save shots, stagehands sweat it out lugging these huge set pieces and prizes faster than they did yesterday, Kathy Greco flips me cards and dodges cameras, Adam points me to where I need to go while talking to the director while talking to cameramen and stagehands while talking to Doug who is talking to stagehands and cameramen... it's amazing to be in the middle of. And you can tell they do it not just for a paycheck, but because of the dignity and self-respect they get from doing a good job. I love working there, surrounded by that kind of hard work, day after day.

Rich Fields and the models actually vacationed with me this year. I spend all day sharing the camera with people that are so nice I want to go on trips with them. It's a place were everyone knows and likes each other. Above the line, below the line, stagehands, make-up, talent (Rich and the models), no talent (me)... That doesn't happen with too many shows.

Visited the set today and saw Mike Richards (the new Executive Producer). Couldn't help thinking of how we all were at the beginning of this past season and how we are now. We met right around this time a year ago after Roger Dobkowitz left the show. Roger worked at Price for 36 years. He taught me all the games and all the patter that came with the games. Now I'm meeting this guy Mike Richards at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank. I knew what he looked like because I had to look him up on IMDB because I'd never heard of him. He used to host Beauty and the Geek. I was late. He was on time. He's one of those guys who are always on time. Always moving. Always thinking. Always working. A real Ayn Rand loving go-getter. I was late.

His deal hadn't closed yet, and there was still a chance (I thought), that it wouldn't go through. And even after the deal went through, he wouldn't be able to start for 6 weeks or something like that. I had a press dinner that night where all they were going to ask me about was what was going to happen to the show now that Roger was gone after 36 years. I remember during those days I muttered a lot while I drove and didn't listen to the radio much because it distracted me from my muttering. I was living completely out of my body. We started talking about the show over our diner food. Small talk. Nothing major. How do you like hosting Price? You must be having fun. I auditioned for the show you know. Oh really. Ha ha. What was that like?

Finally, there was a moment when we both knew the small talk was over. I took a deep breath and said something like "Well look man, if you're going to do this show..." and then I laid out all my frustrations, talking with my hands and slumping a lot. When we were done with our lunch I had no idea what was going to happen with Mike Richards. Didn't know for sure that I would ever see him again. But everything I told him I loved and hated about the show, he loved and hated. Everything about the show that made me roll my eyes or shout with joy gave him the same feelings. We were already starting to complete each other's sentences. Still do. I love working with people like him. I can't believe the amazing luck-out they had in finding him.

This was quite a year on TPIR. The entire production staff was knee-deep in it all season. I think the production staff has had more meetings this year than at any time in the history of TPIR. And not just general, how's-it-going-and-what-are-you-up-to meetings. There were meetings and discussions about everything. There had to be. Everything moved at the speed of light this past season. I don't even look the same as I did when the season started. We show clips of the show before the tapings and I don't recognize the guy on the screen. It's been that kind of year. I don't recognize myself from the beginning of the season to the end.

The biggest change in the show this past season? The prizes. At the beginning of last season, the show used to average about 6 new prizes per taping week. It was possible, if one wanted, to watch the show for a while and memorize the price of almost every prize we offered. Now, we do just over 30 new prizes per week. We smoke any other show on television on prizes. Everyone on the staff is constantly pitching prizes, every single day. And we have a meeting once a week to do nothing but pitch prizes. The staff comes in with dream trips they'd love to go on, stuff they saw in a catalogue that they'd LOVE to have, well thought-out themed showcases... the prize department can barely keep up with all the prize ideas everyone comes up with. At the beginning of last season we'd give away say... a trip to Vegas. Stay at a "premium hotel" or some vague language like that. Nothing wrong with it. But since the prize meetings, they came up with one of my favorite trips ever: A Private Jet (!) to Vegas, a Skyloft Suite at the MGM (where only rich guys like me stay) including 24 hour butler service, tickets to KA, tickets to a show at Caesars, two expensive dinners and $5,ooo in cash. I was drooling over that showcase. I'd never lusted after a showcase before EVER. But since the staff has been working this way I've lusted after most of them. The staff picks GREAT prizes nowadays.

Tickets to the Final Four, golfing at St. Andrews, a day on a Private Yacht in the Bahamas (just a small part of the Bahamas trip we offered), a completely restored '65 Mustang... our prizes have been CRAZY GOOD lately. All because of these prize meetings. They even get all giggly while they're pitching, jumping in with suggestions to make the prizes instantly better. I brag to my friends about the prizes we give away.

So that's last season. Lots of meetings and great new prizes. Video instead of old paintings. Trips you'd kill for instead of grandfather clocks. Hondas. Our last Pontiac (a G-6). New producer. New director. Host re-born. And we were just setting the table. Tomorrow, we eat.

Call it the Year Of The Bungalow. And give everyone in it the credit they deserve.


54 comments:

  1. Sounds cool, Oh He of the X-Ray Specs ads! Can't wait to watch this fall! Let everyone know that all the ass-busting is highly appreciated every day when we see you on our TVs!

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  2. Are you going to be giving away more of those donut makers?

    I just want to say that the prizes given away now are so different from anything from the Barker era (no discredit to Bob)

    I like that the show is different now, but still the same TPIR.

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  3. Awesome props to the whole team Drew.

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  4. WOW! Sucks I'm now in the UK. Don't get TPiR- gonna need to see an online source! Can't wait! Have fun man, have fun!

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  5. That sounds awesome; I can't wait for September!
    My one comment is that I wish you guys would play more of my favorite games. I can't remember the last time I saw 3 Strikes or Triple Play. Who doesn't like a game where you can win three cars? :)

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  6. ...a Skyloft Suite at the MGM (where only rich guys like me stay)...

    Conceited much???

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  7. Drew, you're a chubbier, younger Bob Barker in all the WRONG ways - you have an ego, firing people left and right, making backstage a turmoil...

    And ousting the fans of Golden-Road.net, who just want the show to NOT SUCK (which is what you've made it).

    Removing the trip skins was ten kinds of idiotic, and adding new prizes was because of a perfect Showcase bid that YOU COULDN'T HAVE CARED LESS ABOUT!

    Yeah, way to go. Great job making Rich Fields look like an ass, great job getting rid of Three Strikes, and a TERRIFIC job in sending the show into what may very well be cancellation.

    Yeah, Drew. Thanks for being Barker II.
    -Daniel

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  8. I think the true test of your replacing Bob has happened....My father still watches. It was like his world was coming to an end when he found out Bob was retiring. And of course, he wasn't happy when you started, but now, he's back to his old ways of him constantly watching. And the only complaints he has now are the commercials that are specifically targeting his age group...we hate the Sea Bond commercial the most with the gaggle of old ladies singing "bye bye, paste." Ugh.

    There's always going to be someone around who doesn't like what you're doing, can't please all of the people all of the time.

    Keep up the good work. I think you've really grown into the job. And thanks for keeping my dad happy. :)

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  10. Please excuse the rude comments from people here Drew. They obviously come from members of Golden-road.net. The one website that makes a person feel like doing drugs afterwards.

    Keep up the great work my friend. You are being yourself and you've made the show fun again. Keep up the great work!

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  11. The audience seems to be every bit as enthusiastic as it always has. That metric alone speaks far louder than the numbers.

    I agree that the prizes have been mind blowing. I was watching the day the $15,000 restored '65 Mustang was offered. I was half way expecting to see a George Barris Batmobile offered in a showcase after that. One can dream...

    Thanks for giving credit where credit is due. We never get to see the hard work that you do every day of shooting. But it shows on the screen. TPIR will remain one of the icons of daytime television.

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  12. I uh...won't claim the same vitriol as another commenter, but it was interesting to get your viewpoint on your version of the show, Drew. I give you more credit than I would have previously for caring about your job - and your performance this season has reflected that. I have enjoyed the show even as some pricing games go AWOL. Hopefully they come back.

    I just hope the move towards "cool prizes" hasn't damaged the show's relationship with sponsors, and in turn, its profitability. And the lack of "A NEW CAHHHHHH!" in the showcase has been noticeable.

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  13. I should add - Rich DiPirro single-handedly kept me watching the show through the growing pains this season. Let him know. :)

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  14. Hiya Drew!!!

    Please...ignore the comments from that a**hole Daniel. You've done a WONDERFUL job making "Price" your own show. Keep up the great work!!! I can't wait to see what's in store for season 38.

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  15. It's a testament to you that you actually say stuff like this, Drew. That's really awesome that you take pride in the prizes that are given away. Kudos, sir!

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  16. A restored 1965 Mustang. MMMMmmm.

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  17. Drew, your writing style is impressive and your honesty is refreshing. WarioBarker's an immature fan who honestly has more vitriol than he does common sense, so don't mind him. He's a pariah, so no worries.

    From one blogger to another (I created BuzzerBlog, and we think you're awesome), keep up the good work with the show and this blog.

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  18. It's awesome and inspiring to see people out there caring about their work. It's also nice to see that you're working on keeping an old and aging show relevant and up to date. By doing that you are helping insure an audience in the future as well as the present. Damn shame most businesses only care about now/today and not the future as you seem to.

    Excellent work sir!

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  19. Drew...I am so ecstatic for this season! It sounds awesome! And...I'm ashamed that someone from a site that I'm a member of (Golden-Road.net) found it necessary to insult you like that. Not everyone over there is like that. Keep up the good work...I can't wait!

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  20. First of all...I'm G-R.net too (hides in advance) and I apologize for what Daniel said, no comments like that need to be said.

    At any rate, this should be an interesting season to watch, with the way 37 has gone and what 38 has in store. And thank you for blogging about this Drew, we get to see an insight like we never had before. :) It's a very unique perspective.

    The Price is Right: Where everything isn't made up and the prizes do matter.

    -Jordan

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  21. Woah there, WarioBarker. That's one way to make us G-R.net users look like a bunch of crazies.

    Seriously Drew, all of us over at G-R don't drink the same water. (Make mine scotch.) While many of us disagree with some of the changes that have been made since you took over as hsot, there are many of us who still enjoy the show, new direction or otherwise. I apologize for the comments made as well, as I believe they could have been better articulated, at the very least.

    Keep our show alive and well, my friend. From one Ohioan to another, I wish you nothing but the best of luck and look forward to Season 38.

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  22. Hi Drew. I'm a member of G-R.net and I want to apologize for the senseless WarioBarker. Not all of us are like that. I disagree with a few things that have happened this season, but I still enjoy TPIR, and watch it every day I can. I look forward to S38, no matter what happens. Thank you for creating this blog and using Twitter, as it gives us an inside look on things that we haven't had before.

    Hope you had a good Father's Day, and say hi to Fingers, DiPirro, Adam, all the other TPIR guys, and your old friend Craig Ferguson for us. :)

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  23. "no comments like that need to be said."

    No no, he's got a right to speak his mind, and you folks have a right to say he doesn't speak for you. Don't jump too far in the other direction.

    Been a major game show geek from childhood - I can still remember watching Barker on TorC, and to this day I know where the Spiegel catalog was based ("Chicago, 60609").

    I started watching TPiR with episode *two* - I was home sick from first grade (do the math), and the show was still called "The NEW Price is Right". Been a fan ever since. Spent a lot of days home sick since, too...

    This blog is by a guy who really sounds like he loves his job, and is tryng to make the show better and more exciting, and not that of someone who wants it to be all about him. I've never heard anything about him being a primadonna or anything, on this show or on his epnymous sitcom. He seems a level-headed sort of fellow, and not just because of his haircut.

    TPIR is really the last of the great game shows. With morning TV taken over by talk shows and reality television, it stands alone, unassailable. Long may it sail.

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  24. "Long may it sail." Indeed! Drew is not an actor. He's Drew, the guy from Ohio who remained who he is through a great success, or at least has come back to himself. (I don't know personally.) All I know is that he is a real guy. Not some fake Hollywood guy trying to make retirement money for his children's children. He's doing this because he so clearly loves the job. If you want to know what kind of man he is, I suggest watching him on Raw Nerve, the show hosted by William Shatner. I always knew Drew was a great guy but I didn't know how great until I saw his interview on that show. I didn't think I could have more respect for him than I already did. Boy was I wrong. He is not just a great man, he is a beautiful soul.

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  25. Hey Drew! Sounds like we're in for a heck of a season 38, I can't wait for it. You have been doing an awesome job as host of TPIR and my favorite bits are how you call the Cliff Hangers mountain climber "Yodelly Guy" and the way you and Rich Fields play off of each other (for the record, I run a site called "Behind The Microphone", a little fan site to Rich)

    Keep up the great work, and say hi to Rich for me! :)

    -Stephanie, a long-time fan in Canada

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  26. I was unaware you had a blog until just now, but it really is interesting to see things from your point of view and to get your take on life and TPIR.

    A long time ago, but not really, I always dreamed of turning 18, and the first thing I was going to do was to meet Bob Barker and be an audience member for The Price is Right. Then I had a gander into my wallet recently, at nearly age 20, and found my drivers liscense, insurance card, and a coupon for "Buy 3 White Castles, Get 3 Free." And that day I realized two things; That I was a broke college student, and that I would have to wait quite a while before I would be visiting California. But hopefully, someday soon, I'll make it there.

    Until then, I'll continue my studies to be a broadcast meteorologist at Ball State, and you can give away great prizes and have fun with great people on The Price is Right.

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  27. My apologies, Drew...Mr. Carey. To be blunt, I made a half-(CENSORED) comment that should NOT have been made here. I merely expressed hatred toward you - and although you may or may not have been responsible for changes that the die-hard fans don't like, you've improved greatly since beginning your tenure with Season 36.

    The fans (including those at Golden-Road.Net) are like television producers - they just want what's best for the show, so the world's greatest game show doesn't get cancelled.

    That's why we spoke out negatively at those Showcases in the early part of Season 37 - Rich Fields, a professional in every sense of the word, was demeaning himself for the sake of humor -- and more often than not, the only one seen laughing was Drew.

    We get concerned for the show when it introduces a ton of gimmicks and scripted "unscripted" events. TPiR has had gimmicks in the past, but not to the extent we saw in this past Season.

    And the increase in new prizes? The fans noticed how that was roughly coincedental to when the perfect Showcase bid episode was recorded. The introduction of "designer" prizes and five-digit trips has caused problems, as well - nobody will know how much they cost (nobody's going to think a pair of shoes cost more than a motorcycle!), and this leads to "forced pricing-game losses" where the game isn't meant to be won due to budget concerns.

    But we only "complain" because we're concerned for the show, and don't wish to see it ruined just because Roger Dobkowitz is no longer there.

    I enjoy the pictures you've been posting, Drew - teasing us fans to new goodies and surprises...but when you and the staff make changes, just be careful. Be edgy, but careful.

    Drew, we die-hard fans want you to host liek Bob Barker. Not "just like him", but mastering the art of the buildup and handling losses well (which you shouldn't get down on, man!), in addition to explaining each game's rules clearly so no "technical wins" will be awarded...but not in terms of backstage power. Bob was an awesome personality and host on-camera, but otherwise he wasn't the easiest person to get along with.

    "Channel" Bob's hosting prowess, not his backstage mannerisms, and you'll be making your show even more fun to watch. It's already fun, though, but just.......practice. I've noticed that you still tend to stumble through rules and forget certain details (in Switcheroo, the contestant *is* allowed to quit after the first turn without being forced to take their second), and rehearsals help the host to learn said rules. Work hard, Drew, and you'll be rewarded in spades! :-)

    Have a great day, Drew. And again, my apologies for my previous post (I would most appreciate your removing that, if you're able to and don't mind).
    -Daniel

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  28. Tell Rich to bring back the goatee!

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  29. Hi Drew, I'm Billy Coore from Greensboro, NC (Roadgeek on Golden-Road.net).

    I just wanted to drop by, say hi, and let you know you are doing a wonderful job as host of The Price is Right.

    The Price is Right has been my all time favorite television show my entire 19 year life. I like what you are doing for the show and please, keep up the good work. From what I've seen (and heard), you seem like a fun and wholesome guy, the kind of guy Hollywood needs more of.

    One day, I hope to be able to head over to California and go to a taping of TPIR to see all of the action in person.

    Again, keep up the good work!

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  30. Some fans may not like it, but I admire Drew and DiPirro for saying "the old Price needs to come back". The classic turntable shots are one example, but too is the idea of a new take on the outlandish prizes of the original 1956 game.

    While it was in the 1970's the superfan packages were just season tickets to Los Angeles-area sports teams, now it's a true sports fan's dream package that has put the show back to its original 1956 roots. Being courtside for an NBA playoff game, going to the majors in golf, tennis, or auto racing, suite tickets for sporting events, or the hardest tickets says we're going all-out for contestants to play for the best prizes.

    At this rate, I'd love to see a Sharpie 500 travel package as a prize. That event is regarded as the toughest ticket in sports -- waiting lists are notoriously long. Also for that, how about The Masters or even the Super Bowl for a prize package? CBS would just love the promotions. Think about the contestant who wins a Showcase with Super Bowl tickets.

    And too one thing I've read is how much the whole Price experience is the Price experience, and how the guest "models" (live music, again a 1950's throwback) and experts showing off prizes allow the audience's experience to mean something. Having Iron Chef Michael Symon, for example, on a prize involving cooking, would be an example of an experience. (And he's a Cleveland chef too!) Imagine Kenny Perry on Hole in One and see what the crowd would do.

    Those vintage cars just say "Barrett-Jackson" to any fan and some of those cars could be worth over $100,000 if they are careful. Imagine Matt Kenseth doing a Showcase for the Daytona 500 with a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. Imagine Jimmie Johnson presenting a Chevrolet Impala and doing the Hole in One putt. Those are the type of ideas that think outside the box for good reason; the fan's experience inside the Bob Barker Studio will be increased.

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  31. Drew, gotta say... I really liked the candor and insight in this post. You guys care about your work, love what you're doing, and it shows.

    It may not be "your father's" TPiR, but it's still accessible to everyone and is just plain fun to watch.

    Everything is an evolution -- and I'm thrilled y'all recognize that and are trying to do good things. That, ultimately, will be what keeps this show around for a good long while.

    Thanks for giving us something to look forward to every weekday at 10am CT.

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  32. Wario haters: if TPiR really did care about their show, they'd:

    Have done something about the reaction to Roger's firing, or just not done it in the first place.

    Read the reception of new Drewcases, and done something quicker.

    Explained in full why their conduct towards Terry was inexcusable: no one calls foul on a normal DSW that wins the same amount of prizes.

    Not put Jack Wagner on, since from the Drewcase days, they obviously know about the lack of place of "mature themes" on this show.

    Explain their sudden 180 towards LFaTs, from being the most welcoming hosts on earth to frisking, spying, and going about their activities like HUAC whenever a suspected GR member is around. Note...SUSPECTED. Not just known members, but suspected.

    Know that they cannot tell pricing game fanatics lies about the variety of pricing games. A recent press release stated that the show wants more variety...we're not seeing it.

    Explain the reasons for being on supposed "budget mode" for several months straight, when there have been nine skunked shows, cut corners, and a distinct lack of contestant winnings. Apparently, it's dropped ratings from Terry and Wagner.

    And yet, despite their apparent spying on this site, and obviously having read the reaction to Wagner due to their encyclopedic knowledge of our workings, almost like an atheist reading and memorizing the Bible in attempts to discredit Christianity, they ignored it and put him on again.

    If Fremantle will read the signs over and over again, yet ignore them and say GR is full of "crazy, mindless whiners" even though the truth is evident from a stone's throw away, and go on a smear campaign against them, then you should stop censuring those who keep the truth going.

    At the very least, Drew should read this and make a public apology for everything he has shook up over the last season...the fact that this was not done after Terry is, however, not a good sign. Goodbye to the worst TPiR season in current...and future history. Now do something about it.

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  33. Yet another post above from an angry Golden-road.net member. You can always count on them to make you feel like you are on trial! It's a freaking "game show" people. Lighten up. I'm sure Drew doesn't need me to defend him. But some of you need some pills.

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  34. Drew--

    Doing a great job! Can't wait for season 38! Don't let the control freaks from Golden Road detract you from blogging about TPIR. Some people there can't handle change. ;-)

    GO SOUNDERS!!!

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  35. I am NOT a Golden-Road.net member. See, I just told you that anyone who is even SUSPECTED of being from GR is immediately blacklisted like a commie in the 1950s.

    And it also proves that normal people DO notice what is going on.

    Once again, these "defenders of the show" display the very tyrannical characteristics of those they are fighting to destroy. And THAT is the change that GR members and even non-GR members cannot handle, Ambparrish.

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  36. Drew - Please help save Ohio's libraries! For more info: http://saveohiolibraries.com/
    Twitter #saveohiolibraries

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  37. Hi, Drew! This is Steven in Lamesa, Texas. I've been a fan of yours since your days hosting "Whose Line?" When you were doing that show, I thought you'd make a great game show host one day. And you know what? I was right! Two years ago I was ecstatic upon hearing about you replacing Bob Barker on "The Price is Right". Bob gave you great advice, telling you to do the show your own way instead of the way he did it. Of course, nobody can replace Bob Barker since he is a legend, but you're doing one heck of a job! I've seen of the pictures from next season and I can hardly wait three months. What happened to some of the pricing games that are hardly played anymore? I especially miss 3 Strikes. My mother, who passed away during Bob's last season, was a huge "Price is Right" fan and would get excited about whenever they would give away a huge prize. She was also crazy about Plinko, too. And what's up with the Showcases? Most of them either hardly or kinda sorta have themes anymore. I wish you could bring back the ones where the models got to be cheerleaders, Rockettes or even mannequins in a store. It amazed me how those models could be perfectly still for a couple of minutes. The highlights for me this season were Bob coming back and the April Fool's Day show with Mimi as one of the models. She was a hoot! Well, please tell everyone at the "The Price is Right" I said hi. Sorry to hear about Ed McMahon. He gave you your big break on "Star Search" two decades ago. May God bless you, and may you have continued success on "The Price is Right".

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  38. I love the idea of the ramped-up prizes. Our society has become jaded and just a bit spoiled, so simply giving away a car or a trip doesn't really cut it anymore, and I hate to say it, it's part of the reason why I stopped watching TPiR a couple of years before you came on. Go on YouTube and find the videos of the game shows from the 1970s like 'Let's Make a Deal' and you see they had some really cutting-edge prizes for their time, like new model cars that weren't going to come out for mass production for a few months, or microwave ovens when that was something only the very rich could have. It sounds like you're wanting to go back to those days with these fantasy prizes and it's a fantastic idea.

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  39. Hi from Italy! I always watch your show over the internet thanks to the magic of server proxies. Keep up the great work!

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  40. It's always interesting to get a behind-the-scenes perspective, on any project, be it a TV show or a movie. We never know about the hard work involved, we only see the finished product. Is kinda inspiring.

    Cheers

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  41. Whew! La la la... happy place... happy place... :)

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  42. I see the vocal minority of GR.net has shown its stubborn face here...

    I for one am looking forward to season 38. I have enjoyed the updates to the show so far and I know you will continue to give a fresh layer of paint to a classic entity of television. I love how my favorite show is getting a more youthful image but still retaining all that is The Price is Right.

    Keep up the great work Drew.

    Any chance you could convince the big-wigs at CBS to schedule another Million Dollar Spectacular?

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  43. Octavarium64: Thank you. Just...thank you. I've been feeling horrible over the whole matter since I originally made the post, and have been trying to seek forgiveness since.

    Did you know my account's been disabled over there? Yeah, so despite Drew's subsequent entries I WAS THE ONE WHO GOT PUNISHED.

    (Typical, really. Been that way for me since I was five.)

    I'm not trying to display tyrranical characteristics. My full intention was to try and draw attention to problems currently with the show, not speak for a website.

    Could I have handled myself a bit better? Yes. Should I have phrased my comment a bit better? Definitely.

    Am I surprised that Drew hasn't removed my original comment? Completely.

    And if he hasn't removed my comment, then what does that say?

    Thank you.
    -Daniel

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  44. Wario, it wasn't your comment that had me turn the comments off. And/or you might think you're the one who "started it", but you can't control what other people comment here now can you? So relax, okay man? All forgiven. Fresh start and all that. Let's drop it all and create a spirit of play. :) What do you think of the new home base?

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  45. Thanks, Drew. As for Home Base 38...the Turntable looks really cool with the back-lit dollar sign and "Door #5". I just hope the change has a purpose, mind you. :-)

    I can't make a good judgment on the new Contestant's Row since none of the pictures you've posted had the displays lit, but if it saves money and looks the same as it did before I'm all for it.

    (This does not mean changing the Pricing Games to digital forms, mind you - you need "physical" props for the games, or else it isn't "Price". Based on your "Clock Game Controller" and "TPiR Mystery Game" entries, however, I need not worry.)

    But those new Showcase podiums...they look a bit thin, really. And kind of like coffins, which doesn't really bode well considering how badly Season 37 was received when it began.

    ====

    And just why was Barker's Bargain Bar dismantled, again? The show's moving on, and I can only watch and hope that the show can march onward with its head held high.

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  46. Thanks Wario! Home base is making all the difference this year. No one really calls it Door 5 though. Don't know where that came from. It gets the wall behind the contestants during showcases about 6 feet behind them and creates a great sense of depth of field. There's no more shimmery silver seem sticking out of someone's head. And there's a lot more room to just move around. No one feels cramped up there anymore. We had to expand it anyway (thanks to HD) so I think we've made the most of it.

    Contestant's row is all LCD TV's. Same fonts as before. Brighter in HD.

    I didn't do the new showcase podiums any favors with my bad cell-phone pics, but they don't really look like coffins. But they are a bit thinner. You'll see. They're TV displays too but with the same font. The angle of the podium was made to go from the width of the TV.

    (I really must do a separate blog post on how the move to HD last year forced us to change so many things. I mean, as a tv producer, you see some things in regular tv and they look fine. Then HD comes in and your scrambling because it suddenly looks so out of place.

    Barker's Bargain Bar will come back eventually. It needs to be rebuilt entirely. We think it looks horrible in HD, that's all. A few of the games are being rebuilt or refurbished for HD. 3 Strikes is being refurbished and will come back, and Triple Play will come back soon this new season. Hang in there! The show's getting better and better. Can't wait for you to see it and find out what everyone things. - Drew

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  47. I hope Take Two is coming back... i miss it... i hope its ok!

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  48. I must say that I'm ecstatic about the fact that Barker's Bargain Bar is coming back. Drew, is it possible to show us some pics of the refurbished games you've mentioned (ie 3 Strikes). I hope they haven't changed them too much :S Can't wait for season 38 to start!

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  49. Drew,

    This is great news that some of our favorite shows are coming back! Now, I heard that the reason that Barker's Bargain Bar was retired was because Bob was no longer on the show. Was this just a rumour?

    John

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  50. Drew,

    This is fantastic news! However, I heard Bargain Bar was retired because Bob was no longer with the show? Was this just a rumour? On another note, is Brandi coming back? And per chance, do you think I could get an autographed picture?

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  51. Hey, Drew. Thanks for the info on Barker's Bargain Bar - it's good to hear that it's not dead (merely needing a new set to look better in HD), but I hope it doesn't go the way of Penny Ante.

    For those who don't know, Penny Ante was a grocery-product game that was played from 1979-2002. Late in its life, the game's "YES/NO" concealer flaps kept falling open by themselves or knocking others down. By the time the staff decided to reverse its decision to retire it, the board had been damaged in a rainstorm. While they intended to rebuild it over the next five years, I guess they could never seem to find the time to do so...and the game's retirement was officially announced in May 2007.

    I just don't want Barker's Bargain Bar to go a similar path - fully intend to rebuild it and get it back in the rotation, but other things get in the way. It's a great two-prize game - one that was (and should be, when it's rebuilt) completely playable without having to plug it in.

    And for "Door #5", I've heard that's what Rich DiPirro refers to it as for camera shots. "Door #4" is the plasma screen in the back of the audience.

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  52. i'm just wondering, what are we going to call Barker's Bargain Bar because now, there's no barker? will you call it "Carey's Bargain Bar" or just "Bargain Bar"?

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