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Drew Carey doesn't know what to expect for Price's new season - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 20th 2008 10:01AM
Drew CareyWhen Drew Carey takes the stage later today to begin taping the 37th season of The Price is Right, he'll be seeing whatever changes they have in store for the first time. Why? Because he's just as much in the dark about it as everyone else is. "They don't tell me anything," he told me on Friday night at the CBS all-star party at the Boulevard3 club in Hollywood. When I asked him if he prefers it that way, he told me "No. It's disheartening. They don't tell me what they're thinking about doing or changing."

Drew also told me that he found out about longtime producer Roger Dobkowitz' dismissal the night before it happened. Executives at Fremantle told him about the change at a dinner near the Price studios. He felt bad for Dobkowitz, especially because of how well he got along with him. When asked if that put a damper on a fairly successful first season, he at first said it didn't, then he reconsidered. "Well, yeah it did, actually, because I really thought the world of him and I was sad that he let go. But like I said, I'm like an employee. They don't discuss their personnel changes with me."

The entire interview, including a response from CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler, is after the jump.

Joel Keller: So you've started the 37th season already?

Drew Carey: No, we start on Sunday. That's the first day back. I think the first show they're going to air is one that starts the week after.

JK: One thing I asked Nina Tassler this morning is if there were going to be any changes on the show. Do you know about any?

Drew: They don't tell me anything.

JK: So you don't know what it's going to look like until you walk in on Sunday?

Drew: I'd imagine it's going to be the same, so...

JK: I had heard rumors that they were going to make it look more like American Idol or something like that.

Drew: I doubt it. I think it's going to be the same show. Even like small changes that are happening, I have no idea; they don't tell me anything.

JK: Is it better for you that way?

Drew: No. It's disheartening. They don't tell me what they're thinking about doing or changing.

JK: Do you hope that it's going to be largely the same?

Drew: Yeah, I think it's going to be. You know, Nina and Barbara (Bloom, CBS' daytime chief) and everybody, they don't wanna... I mean, they always change stuff every year. Even when Bob was here they changed something. But I don't think it's going to be anything drastic. I think there's a new game, and I think they're going to increase the money on the wheel a little bit. And there's another game where they're going to increase the money... Check Game is going to have a little more money attached to it, I'm not sure. I got an e-mail about those things. There's a new game but I haven't seen it. I wish I could tell you more, but I get left out of a lot.

JK: What was behind Roger Dobkowitz leaving?

Drew: I have no idea. I was told the night before by Cecile (Frot-Coutaz, CEO of North American Production) and Eugene (Young, chief creative officer) of Fremantle.

JK: I was told by Nina earlier today that this had been in the works for a couple of years, and it maybe bring in some people who were "Drew's guys." She phrased it that way.

Drew: I have no guys. I got asked Monday if I was free for a half-hour on Wednesday night and I said yes. On Wednesday I went to dinner with Cecile and Eugene at a place in the Grove right next to The Price is Right, and they told me they were getting rid of Roger. (Tassler's response: "We were looking for a guy who was going to embrace the ideas Drew has for the show this year. So it was more like us finding the person that was going to best represent his ideas and attitude about the show.")

JK: Considering most of the staff has been there since way back...

Drew: Roger's been there the longest out of anybody.

JK: You seemed to get along pretty well with everybody.

Drew: I got along great with them. I got along especially well with Roger. It's the only job he's ever had out of college.

JK: Have you talked to him since he was let go?

Drew: I sent him an e-mail, you know, back and forth, and I told him I was sorry. He still went on vacation. I think he's OK. OK as you can be when you get fired.

JK: What did you think of your first season overall? What did you like or dislike about it? Were you surprised by anything?

Drew: It was great. Contestants were really great. I get treated really well there. I wish I would have known about some of the stuff coming up, but that's not a question for me.

JK: Did it kinda put a damper on the end of the season?

Drew: Well, it was... You know, I don't wanna... It didn't like ruin it... (reconsidering) Well, yeah it did, actually, because I really thought the world of him and I was sad that he was let go. But like I said, I'm like an employee. They don't discuss their personnel changes with me.

JK: What did you think you learned as the season went on, to be a better game show host?

Drew: Um... Well, I don't know. (thinking) There's no difference between being a game show host and being, like, a nice dinner companion or somebody nice to hang around with, go to the movies with somebody, you know? You just want to be decent to people, and hope for the best for them. I love when they win a prize, I don't like it when they don't win a prize. I'm unhappy when they get close, and I feel bad when they make a bonehead move. I'm playing the game with the contestant all the time; it's not like I learned that, it's something I'd do anyway, you know what I mean?

JK: Was there anything you had to learn about building drama or anything like that?

Drew: Oh, like on The Power of 10, where I go "We'll find out the answer... right after this!"? No, we don't do that on The Price is Right. I've just got to look at the camera and say, "We'll be right back." You know... all the order of the games and stuff is thought up by the other people. It's kinda easy. All you have to do is show up in a good mood and be nice to everyone on stage. That's about it.

JK: Especially compared to a sitcom, right?

Drew: Well, they all have their own... people would always ask me what I liked doing better, The Drew Carey Show or Whose Line is It Anyway? And I'd say I liked wherever I was at at the time. When I was doing The Drew Carey Show, I liked all the, you know, figuring out what the story was going to be, trying to beef lines if a line didn't work, scenes where we knew we were going to be funny, I couldn't wait to go out and do them. On Whose Line, I liked that it was free, and I didn't have to think about anything besides showing up.

On Price is Right, I pretty much just have to show up in a good mood, and be happy, and then I go over the games. There's a lot of games to memorize; a lot of little things to each game so I have to go over the games with Roger, usually, that's who I went over the games with. I just wanted to make sure... I did actually screw
up quite a few times (chuckles), but what are you gonna do? It's a lot of games.

JK: Hey, so did Bob.

Drew: Yeah, but you learn all the different steps for each game, just to make sure I went over them once. Then you go out and do the show. That's all it is, really.

JK: One more question before I go. Are you going to be doing any more videos for Reason.tv?

Drew: Yeah there's a couple coming out. There's one on Second Life coming out, I think. I feel like I've had a couple months off. They've upped the production value on them (laughs). I like doing them. And I'm also doing a radio show on Sirius one a month. So there's all these like little tiny things.

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Drew doesn't know whats going on anyhow. It won't be a change. Why does he laugh at himself every time he says anything. His criticism of the products isn't very good either. I like him but he has taken any dignity out of the show. He is only mediocire.
Also, where do some of those people come from. It is a show of ignorant people who never think for themselves.
The audience is mostly wrong but nobody ever thinks for themselves. I will still watch sometime, but no always. I used to tape it but the people turn me off. Don't any of them have a job.
Very OLD people just take up time. Im a senior citizen but no ignorant. I could understand the question and the puzzle. Some of them just look blank.
All in all, it will probably make it but only young, jobless, down and out young people really have a part in it as long as Drew is host. That's the only ones he can appeal to. At least Bob gave us a little dignity and acted intelligent.
Drew just rubs his coat pocket and laughs at himself.

August 24 2008 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow. Great interview. Drew has no 'guys' was great. Nina's nose just grew another inch. Way to expose her for what she really is, a big fat liar. I just hope Drew doesn't get into trouble for revealing that.

July 20 2008 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

Great interview Joel.

July 20 2008 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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