After over 50 years since it first appeared on the air, "The Price Is Right" is the oldest (and definitely the highest-rated) of all daytime television game shows, and one of the few game shows to have survived a time when daytime TV was dominated by talk shows and soap operas.
The show was hosted by Bob Barker (whose hair wasn't gray when the show started...) until June of 2007, when the 83-year-old host finally decided to retire after 35 years as host.
But the show will go on, with a new host: Drew Carey.
It's also the only game show where you don't have to run a gauntlet of difficult tests, practice sessions and interviews to become a contestant. You just get a free ticket, show up at the studio and take your chances! And you can win a lot on this show - one woman won two cars worth over $88,000 back in 1992.
"The Price Is Right" contestants are recruited from the studio audience ("Come on down!"), and asked to play one of several pricing games in which they attempt to correctly guess the retail price of one or more products. The hour-long show airs here in L.A. every weekday morning at 10 AM, KCBS (Channel 2).
To have a chance of being called up onto the "Price Is Right" stage as a contestant, all you have to do to is to sit in the studio audience and wait for them to call out your name. Or so it would seem...
Actually, there's a little more to it than that. The contestants are not really selected from the audience at random, as it might appear.
Would-be contestants have to show up at the studio hours before taping time, and are given large "price tags" to wear, which feature an identification number. You write your name and address on one half of this ticket, and a page takes that half, so that later they can match your name to your number. While you wait in line in front of CBS Television City (next to Farmers Market), a studio page will select people in groups of ten to meet with the show's producer, who decides which individuals are chosen (in advance) to later be called up on stage as contestants.
The show's producers are looking for a particular type of person for "The Price Is Right," and if you're not it, they'll pass you by.
Mainly, they're looking for enthusiasm. They want jolly, emotionally expressive contestants who will get genuinely excited when they win (or lose). As a result, they tend to prefer female contestants over men (who often pretend to act excited while being interviewed, but who later sober up when they realize that their boss may be watching them on TV). If you watch the show, you may notice that they also seem to favor pretty young girls, comically plump individuals, college students, and men in uniform.
When the producer thinks he
has spotted a good contestant, his or her name will be noted (via the "price tag"
they are wearing) and then during the taping of the show, their names will
be announced, and they will be told to "Come on down!."
But despite the screening process, "The Price Is Right" is still probably your best hope of getting on network TV in a hurry. Even if you aren't selected as a contestant, chances are good that the TV camera will catch you, as it pans through the audience before announcing each contestant's name. So program your VCR to record the show before you leave for the studio!
For more information phone (323) 575-2449.
The show is taped at
Mondays through Thursdays. They tape two shows on Mondays (at 1:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.,), but only one show (at 2:30 p.m.) on the other days of the week.
But you have to show up much earlier. Suggested arrival times are 6 AM - 6:30 AM for the 1:15 PM taping, and 8 AM - 8:40 AM for the 4:45 PM taping. Be sure to phone ahead, because they don't tape every week. They tape for two weeks, then take ten days off. They also take the summer months off.
Tickets are available at box office one week in advance, up to the day of show at the box office, or by writing to the address above (enclose a S.A.S.E.) four weeks in advance. No one under 18 is admitted. Bring two forms of valid ID. First come, first served.
[For more information about
the show, you can access their official website at: http://marketing.cbs.com/daytime/price.]
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