The New Price Is Right (1994 game show)

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The New Price Is Right
Format Game show
Created by Bob Stewart
Developed by Jonathan Goodson
Directed by Andrew Felsher
Presented by Doug Davidson
Narrated by Burton Richardson
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 80
Production
Producer(s) Kathy Greco
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Mark Goodson Productions, LLC
Distributor Paramount Domestic Television
Broadcast
Original channel Syndicated
Original run September 12, 1994 (1994-09-12) – January 27, 1995 (1995-01-27)
Chronology
Related shows The Price Is Right

The New Price Is Right is a short-lived syndicated version of the American game show The Price Is Right, which aired from September 12, 1994 to January 27, 1995. This version of the show did not use the same on-air personnel as the daytime version which ran concurrently on CBS. Doug Davidson, who also appears on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless, hosted[1] with Burton Richardson as the announcer. The prize models were Julie Lynn Cialini, Ferrari Farris and Lisa Stahl Sullivan. Price is Right associate producer Kathy Greco served as this edition's producer while Jay Wolpert served as associate.

The show was produced by Mark Goodson Productions and distributed by Paramount Domestic Television. Like previous syndicated Price is Right series, as well as the first three years of the parent series, The New Price Is Right was thirty minutes in length. However, unlike its syndicated predecessors this edition was not simply a carbon copy of The Price is Right.

After this version's cancellation, many of its concepts were adopted by European versions of the show. Various prop changes and rule modifications from this version, as well as many of the music cues, also carried over to the CBS daytime and prime time versions of the show. Additionally, several production members continued their involvement with The Price Is Right after this version's cancellation.

Format[edit]

The New Price Is Right differed greatly from its parent show in several ways. The entire concept, which had not been radically modified since 1975, was given a significant update in an attempt to appeal to a younger generation. Davidson was at the time a popular actor on The Young and the Restless, and Burton Richardson had made his mark as the announcer for The Arsenio Hall Show. As noted above, the show's models were much younger than those on the daytime Price is Right; of the three New Price Is Right models Lisa Stahl, at 29, was the oldest. By comparison, the youngest regular model at the time on the daytime series was Kathleen Bradley, who was 41. (Janice Pennington, at 52, was the oldest.) Like previous syndicated Price is Right series, the 1994 edition had a higher prize budget than the daytime series but it was much higher than on the previous two syndicated series as much more expensive prizes, including non-U.S. produced cars, were featured prominently. Pricing games featuring small prizes and grocery items also saw their budgets increased.

The New Price Is Right did not employ the thirty-minute format that its parent series and syndicated predecessors had. Instead of being called to Contestants' Row, each person picked from the audience immediately went onstage to play their pricing game. Three pricing games were played per episode.

Pricing game rule changes[edit]

Some pricing games on The New Price Is Right were played with slight modifications to the rules as played on the daytime version. Games which usually featured grocery products (e.g., Grand Game and Hole in One) were played using prizes generally valued less than $400 instead, and some games featured other 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 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: Smaller prizes worth up to $400 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.
  • 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 two $2,500 slots). The method of earning chips was also changed 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.
  • 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 used for a brief period on the daytime show from 2008–2009.

Showcase Showdown[edit]

The New Price Is Right was the first syndicated Price edition to employ the Showcase Showdown to determine who would play for the Showcase at the end of the show. Previously, the two contestants who had won the most in their One Bids and pricing games automatically advanced to the Showcase.

There were two different games played for the Showcase Showdown.

The Price Was Right[edit]

The most widely used Showcase Showdown game on The New Price Is Right was The Price Was Right. This game was based on One Bid, the game played in Contestants' Row on the daytime Price is Right.

The three contestants stood behind podiums at the foot of the stage (a modified version of the daytime version's Contestants' Row) and Davidson would introduce a vintage commercial and tell the players what year it was from. Once the commercial ended, the object for the contestants was to bid on how much they thought the product advertised originally cost. The contestant with the closest bid without going over won the right to play in the Showcase.

Although it rarely happened, if all the contestants overbid, the same One Bid overbid rules applied. The bids would be erased and the contestants would be instructed to bid less that the lowest overbid amount. There was no bonus paid for an exact bid, as there was in One Bid.

The Big Wheel[edit]

The producers had originally intended to use "The Price Was Right" on every episode, but when tapings for the series began the staff had only been able to complete research on 60 commercials and products. For the other twenty episodes (mostly in the early part of the show's run), the Big Wheel was used.

The Big Wheel was played with the same rules and bonuses in use at the time on the daytime show. However, contestants spun in order from highest to lowest winnings instead of the reverse.

The Showcase[edit]

The New Price Is Right was the first, and thus far the only, edition of the American series to feature a single player instead of two in the Showcase.

The winner of the Showcase Showdown was presented with what was in his/her Showcase. Instead of simply giving a bid as they would have before, contestants played a modified version of the pricing game Range Game instead.

The value of each showcase was between $10,000 and $70,000 as displayed on the board. During the commercial break before the Showcase the winning player chose a range at random. In $1,000 increments, this amount could be anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000. After the showcase was presented, the range the contestant picked was revealed and the rangefinder started to move up the board. Once the contestant thought the value of the showcase was within the range, he/she pulled a lever to stop the rangefinder. If the amount of the showcase was within the area where the rangefinder had stopped, the contestant won his/her showcase. If not the contestant simply left with what he/she had won to that point.

Production[edit]

The set differed drastically from that of the daytime show, featuring different color schemes and patterns for many of the set pieces, including the usage of a large video wall. Edd Kalehoff created an entirely new set of music cues, 286 in all,[2] to replace the traditional "come on down" theme and prize music. The series used an up-tempo, smooth jazz-influenced re-recording of the daytime series' theme. The theme was later used in several international adaptations of this series, while a number of the prize cues found their way into the music library of the CBS show.

Broadcast history[edit]

Two pilots were recorded on July 16 and 17, 1993. Davidson hosted the first, while KTLA news personality Mark Kriski emceed the second, with Bob Hilton announcing on both.

When the series began, a montage of clips was played at the beginning of each show, including brief clips of the 1993 pilots and previous versions. A shorter clip sequence was used for the second half of the run, which used highlight clips from the series' run to that point.

Unlike the previous syndicated series this version was not required to be aired in the late afternoon or early evening, thereby avoiding a clearance problem that plagued a 1985–86 syndicated Price is Right hosted by Tom Kennedy (which resulted in many late night time slots for the series as prime slots were unavailable). Many stations were able to air the show during daytime hours. In some markets, The New Price Is Right was paired with the veteran syndicated Family Feud, which for its seventh season saw a return of Richard Dawson as its host. Since The New Price is Right's distributor Paramount was also an equal shareholder in the soon-to-launch United Paramount Network (UPN), the series' major-market clearances were on stations that were owned by its other equal shareholder Chris-Craft Industries, such as WWOR-TV in New York.

Despite not having the vast clearance problems that its syndicated predecessor had, The New Price Is Right shared its ratings trouble. The series never gained an audience, a problem that was blamed on, among various other things, preemptions for coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial and the drastic change in format as compared to the daytime series.

The New Price Is Right's low ratings contributed to many stations dropping the series within its first three months on the air, including the Chris-Craft owned stations. The New Price Is Right disappeared from most of these stations' markets afterward as there were no stations that were willing to pick up the low-rated series.

The New Price Is Right is the shortest-lived of the three syndicated Price is Right series, having only been on the air for sixteen weeks. The original weekly series lasted eight years and the previous daily series managed a full season before its cancellation.

This version, along with the 1972–1980 weekly syndicated series hosted by Dennis James and Bob Barker, is one of only two American versions of Price that were not rerun by GSN.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Doug Davidson: Biography Y&R home page at CBS.com. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  2. ^ Vault Inventory-Game Shows, Television Production Music Museum (www.tvpmm.com). Accessed January 27, 2012.