This one’s been eating at me for quite sometime now and am glad that I have the opportunity to get this out of the way here. In my 22 years of me being alive, I’ve learned that nothing in this world is sacred. Books, religion, monuments,…nothing is safe from anybody just walking up to what you like most and taking a huge shit on it. This of course applies to the longest running game show in the history of television, The Price is Right. It all started back in the 1950’s where Bill Cullen and his aura of awesomeness first laid out the idea and general concepts of the Price is Right. In 1972, while doing Truth or Consequences Bob Barker picked up the Price is Right and over time crafted it into one of the best game shows ever made. That is until 2007 when Bob felt the time was right to hang it up. Many didn’t want to see that day come but it did unfortunately and again, many including myself wouldn’t have minded if the show’s run was kaput right then and there. It didn’t sadly as big-wig execs at FremantleMedia wanted to keep the show alive…more on them in a bit.

So withBob retiring and a search for who to replace him, someone with lots of television experience and wisdom in hosting game shows should be a suitable replacement, right? Not even remotely close. Y’see, apparently CBS gave Drew Carey what appeared to be a pet project for about a Season’ish and a half of hosting a game show that was a concept loosely based off from Card Sharks of guessing how many people said what on a question. Throw in the $1,000,000 gimmick schtick (more on how this and how it ruins game shows, at another time) and hey we got ourselves a game show. The show lasted during the Summer of ’07 and prior to appearing on the David Letterman Show, CBS declared him to be the one to fill Bob Barker’s shoes because apparently in CBS’s minds, any schmoe could replace Barker.

Up until this point, call me biased but I grew up withhaving a TV legend and others to turn to for those days when I was sick and stayed home from school. Or during the days of Summer vacation and as a side effect to being up early, you could tune in and cheer/boo the person who couldn’t get the big wheel all the way around. It’s just the way it was at the time. So to see someone coming into the house that Bob Barker built and utterly crapping all over it, killed a part of me on the inside. I sat down, watched the first episode with Drew Carey and vomit started to fill in the back of my throat. Goofin’ around, jerkin’ off, just all around dumbshit that didn’t sit well withme AT ALL. Not only that, they swabbed down the entire set giving a completely new look while at the same time erasing almost everything associated with Barker’s run. Going so far to make everything from props, set designs, podiums, pricing games…all redone to be HDTV friendly.

Recently while watching TV, noticed a blurb about TPiR’s 7000th episode. Debating about whether or not to watch it, I actually tuned in via online because again, I wanted to tackle this and figured I could incorporate into here. (That, and I was woken up prematurely to which I almost elbowed a toddler. Story for another day.) Now, keep in mind whenever a special event comes along, Price is Right usually makes a big deal out of it. Season premieres, salute to [insert branch of military here], Episode #6000, $1,000,000 spectaculars…hell, they could make up something unrelated to the show and still make it enjoyable. Something like “Price is Right’s Honors to Columbus Day!” or “Price is Right’s Salute to Leif Ericson”. Point is, they can practically take any gimmick show like one of those and cram pack it filled with cars and luxurious prizes….that was the case until Thursday’s episode. Don’t get me wrong, I know the auto industry to say the least is shit right now and in a recession the last thing people want are cars but,….you’ll see what I mean in a moment her. To save you the trouble here’s a summary breakdown of the show:


(IF IMAGES ARE TOO SMALL, CLICK ON THEM TO OPEN THEM IN A NEW WINDOW/TAB. Also, to save time and reading, I’ve left out certain things like the names of the contestants just so that I can go straight to the good parts)

Alright so the first contestant gets up on stage and gets a crack at “The Most Expensive”. For those who aren’t familiar with this game, all you gotta do is pick out the prize that’s the most expensive:

 

Here we see a chance at three trips, Trip to Africa, Trip to India, and a Trip to Australia. After Rich reads the plug for each one, Drew informs us that each trip is OVER 7000….miles. Each trip’s over 7000 miles, yippee I guess? The contestant chooses Australia as the most expensive trip and to save you the suspense, he’s chose incorrectly and loses the game…

 

 

 

BECAUSE A TRIP TO AFRICA IS 18 FUCKING GRAND:

A trip to bumfuck India is $13000 some odd dollars and THE Land of Bizarro World aka Australia, is 8k. :

 


 

Maybe Drew should’ve said that all three trips were all over $7000, THAT would’ve been some useful information. Seriously, $18,000? You better be nabbing some children to take home with you or shaking Nelson Mandela’s hand or something. Afterwards some chick plays the “Grand Game” and withsome groping of one of the prizes, ends up winning $10,000. Nothing other worth mentioning here. Finally to close out the first half of the show, a contestant has a shot to win a truck at “Lucky $even”.  Seeing how it was the 7000thshow, they gave the contestant 7 $1000 stacks to play with:

 

Optimistically, I was hoping for something to where if you miss it, you still pay the host a dollar for each number you were off. So if you said 376 and the next number of the car was 3, you have to give Drew $373. Sadly, this wasn’t the case as it was played under normal rules only with higher currency which to me, they should’ve at least given the guy a chance to walk away. That’s a good chunk of money. Instead the contestant shanked the car away and we’re left with only 1 winner so far.

Standard go around at the big wheel to which afterwards, Drew informs us that the next three games will be the same games from the first episode in 1972. For a moment I thought they were going to break out one of the retired games, like “Give or Keep” or the Phone Home game for ONE DAY ONLY! Instead, it’s “Any Number”, “Bonus Game”, and “Double Prices”.

So mid-way into Any Number, the board looks like this:

 

So the contestant calls for a “4” next…:

 

…and into the piggy bank it goes. Now whichever spot fills up first, the contestant goes home with that corresponding prize, so if the next number goes into the piggy bank they go home with 5 bucks and some change. The next number called is “3”. Alright so hopefully it won’t go into the piggy bank. Surely, they wouldn’t set it up to where they would trap the contestant in a descending pattern…:

 


 

…Yup, they would. Now granted you could argue in that situation that she should’ve guessed lower and that it’s just as fair had the numbers not have gone in a descending order. And normally I’d give you the benefit of the doubt…that is until I saw the Bonus Game right up next.

In “Bonus Game” the contestant has a chance to win a Bonus Prize. This time around the Bonus Prize is an entertainment setup that includes a reclining chair with compartments and attachments, a widescreen HDTV, and apparently a jukebox

 


 

In order to win the Bonus Prize, you have to secure each window by correctly guessing if the smaller prizes are either higher or lower than the price of what’s given. If the word Bonus is by any of the windows you’ve secured, you win the bonus prize.If you get all 4, you of course auto-win the game.

 

 

Now the first three prizes were:

 


Price is Right Video game for the WII

 

 


A clock

 

 


A cappuccino pot

 

Contestant aces all three prizes and just needs to get this last one to win it all. The prize? A warming tray to keep your food warm. This is where I start to have a problem. The fourth prize is a warming tray. You plug it in and it warms your food. Not something every person would or would want to have but whatever. The listed price is $150

 

contestant says lower…

 


and ends up being wrong. Well alright, contestant’s in good shape. Has 3 out of the four right, a 75% chance of winning the bonus prize. Surely there’s no way that they would gyp him out of prize over a cafeteria appliance, something that comes standard on a RONCO Showtime Rotisserie. They wouldn’t screw him over like that, not on the 7000th episode, would they really?…

 

 

 


 

Yes, really. That’s right folks, Price is Right has gotten to the point where you can’t even rely on the quality of the games anymore. More on that as well in just a few moments. Later, the final game of the day is Double Prices, always a good closer and it’s for this Rolex watch:

 

 

and the one right price is either the one close to $7000 or the one close to  $8000:

 


GEE, IT’S THE 7000TH SHOW, I WONDER WHICH ONE IT COULD POSSIBLY BE!?!?!?!?

 

Of course it’s the one closest to 7000…

 

…and the show closes out on a 2 out of 6 wins. Going back to the contestant who played Bonus Game for a sec, interesting moment during the showdown to where when he spun the wheel, it looked like he had 85¢, but at the last moment the pointy noisemaker slips off and lands on 30¢…

 

 

…and chooses to stay on it…

 

 

WHO THE FUCK STAYS ON 30 CENTS!?!?A person who had the deck stacked against him and was thus goldbricked out of an awesome prize, that’s who. The showcase itself wasn’t anything major, they stuck prizes in that were “this is what we gave on the first show, so you get shit” (One of the prizes was literally floor paneling from the 70’s but with a different color) But anyway, that’s not the only swindling going on during the Drew Era. Check out this ridiculously hard setup in the game “Hi-Lo” from 2008:

 

 

I find it a little contradicting to the game’s name where you have 5 prizes that the prices are clustered together around in low to mid 10 dollar range. To quote one of the commenters on that video, ‘Bob would not have stood for such chicanery’…and I think I can prove it. Again if you will, take a look at this playing of the “Range Game” back in 1997:

 

…a close narrow finish and I mean barely touching if at all. It was close enough to where Bob gave him the snowmobile. Something that close wouldn’t be duplicated until 2008 during one of the primetime million dollar spectaculars and thus Drew’s shitty hosting abilities and lack of saying power comes to light:

 

 

(Click here to see a split of the two) Again, you could argue that “it was a technicality and that it’s not fair to base judgement off of that”. Okay Mr. Opposition, try this one then. December of 2008 one of the biggest highlights in the show’s history would take place in the showcase. The unimaginable, unthinkable, and almost unduplicatable would happen. That’s right, I’m talking about the perfect showcase. Watch how unenthused Drew’s reaction is:

 

 

Now granted once the contestant placed his epic bid, he broke the show because the producers wanted to make sure there was no chicanery (Gotta love that word) which there wasn’t. The contestant admitted that had help in the audience from someone who’s seen those particular prizes which before you cry cheater, keep in mind that getting help from the audience is a major staple of the show and in my mind there’s nothing wrong with multiple audience sittings, having a good memory, and being able to help someone win some prizes. So after it was proven that there was no chicanery, Drew could’ve been a little more excited seeing how it’s not everyday you see a perfect bid in the showcase.

Conclusively, who’s to blame here? Well I think you gotta point the finger at everyone from Drew Carey to Fremantle Media all the way up to CBS itself. The product that aired back when Bob hosted it certainly isn’t the same thing now. Hell Bob has gone on the record in saying that he doesn’t even watch it, and I can’t really blame him. If I had to do the same routine for 35 years and had some jackass come in and tarnish it with their ignorance, I wouldn’t want to look back either and trust me, be glad that I spared you the stupid skit segments during the showcases that involved fried chicken, pies being thrown at each other, and making Rich Fields doing stupid stuff. Talk about someone who deserves better, as in, I think he’s qualified to host the show himself to be honest.

During Drew’s tenure at the helm, 4 games have been retired (Buy or Sell, Joker, Poker Game, and Make Your Mark), 1 on what appears to be heading into retirement (Credit Card), 1 game with a shitty rules/gameplay change (3 Strikes), 1 they keep waffling on deciding they want to keep or not because of how old the game is (Barker’s Bargain Bar), any only 1 new game (Gas Money) so far cycled in.

As for FremantleMedia, they’re nothing more than a bunch of rating-whores who don’t care in quality and just push a product out there who are threatened when someone points out there mistakes.
Quick example, Big Jon’s PC games (www.bigjonpcgames.com) is a place that you could get games made after your favorite games shows. Shows like Deal or No Deal, Wheel of Fortune, and of course The Price is Right. That is until FremantleMedia sent him a Cease and Desist letter about his games back in August 2009, a battle in which he’s currently fighting to get his games back by trying to cite under fair and educational use. Now, while some of Jon’s games had quite a number of bugs in them, they were precise and dead-on balls accurate to the real thing on TV. BigJon’s TPIR game included all the pricing games in current rotation and just about all of the ones in retirement. That’s about 100 games total right there and that’s not including some of the newer ones he crafted himself. Oh and it was free to download. In late September FremantleMedia released the 2010 edition of The Price is Right onto PC, WII and DS. That has about 30’ish pricing games on it. Which do you think is the better bargain was threatened by it? The FremantleMedia Press Your Luck is all over the fucking place (Yet another thing I’ll tackle at a different time). I guarantee you had they not gone and produced another TPIR game, they wouldn’t have seen BigJon’s work on the radar.

One final note and I’ll let you guys go on this (Kudos to all of you who’ve read everything on here so far.) before I go, is it just me or is CBS recruiting everyone from ABC. Think about it, you have Craig Ferguson who replaced Craig Kilbourne on the Late Late Show. Drew Carey took over for Bob Barker. Wayne Brady’s now doing Let’s Make a Deal.

Jeez, what’s next? Kathy Kinney as Mimi being one of the models on Price is Right. Yeah, like that would ever hap…

 

 

 

Videos provided by Youtube.com. Stills of the 7000th yoinked from CBS.com. Media in this entry is conducted under fair use, no infringement is intended.

PS: If Drew or anyone else from CBS happens to see this, I think Drew is a funny guy just in the wrong line of work.

PPS: Just to not play favorites, there was once a time during the Barker era that a contestant got screwed out of $1.00 on the big wheel and was never compensated for it.

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