Top TV Stories of 2007: A new host for The Price is Right
The year 2007 was definitely one of great change for television. The award-winning The Sopranos faded to black on HBO, Rosie O'Donnell left yenta-talk show The View to the relief of many, and there was nary a mention about Joey. Well, at least no mention except from me, that is.
However, none of those events paled in comparison than to what took place June 15th on the CBS television network. That's the day when Bob Barker took his microphone, his spayed and neutered pets, and his sexual harassment suits and left the hosting job of The Price is Right after 35 years. And, as he kissed his last contestant and waved his last good-bye, fans of the show thought a replacement host would never be found.
Gallery: The Price is Right: Drew Carey
Those fans were partially right because, for awhile there, both CBS and Fremantle Media were also unsure of who could fill the ginormous shoes of Barker. Many names were thrown into the hat. Some, like George Hamilton, John O'Hurley and Todd Newton, seemed like logical choices to replace Bob. Others, like Mario Lopez and previously mentioned Rosie O'Donnell, made the public scratch their heads in confusion as they wondered what the hell studio executives where thinking about.
Somewhere in this decision process cooler heads prevailed, and they came to a compromise as to who the new host for The Price is Right should be: comedian Drew Carey. Again, people were confused about this decision. But, as the news began to seep through their heads the choice made more sense. First, he was already hosting a primetime game show on CBS (Power of 10) that impressed executives; second, he had worked for years in front of a live audience during his stand-up career, his time on The Drew Carey Show, and as host of the "game show" Whose Line is it Anyway?; and third, he was someone who appealed to beer-chugging college students and blue-haired seniors alike.
So, with only a few minor cosmetic changes to the classic set, Drew Carey began his reign as host of The Price is Right on October 15th. The results have been mixed. Some find Carey a horrible host who doesn't interact very well with the audience or with the contestants. Others think that Drew's honest reactions to the contestants as they win or lose makes him a good replacement for the venerable Barker. As for me, I agree with the latter views.
As the experts love to say, only time will tell whether Drew Carey does a 35-year stint on The Price is Right or is quickly replaced by someone that the network executives deem more qualified. In the end, though, does it really matter who's host? All that the contestants are concerned about is if they can win all three cards on Triple Play or a good deal of money in Plinko.
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