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'The Price is Right' Opens 39th Season with a New Game, New Announcer, New Host

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 20th 2010 1:10PM
The Price is Right'The Price is Right' started its 39th year this morning, and to celebrate the first episode of the season they debuted a new game called Pay The Rent. In this game, contestants have to OH MY GOD DREW CAREY HAS LOST A TON OF WEIGHT!!

A lot of fans already knew that Drew had lost several pounds off his frame, but it's a whole different thing to see it in the 'Price is Right' setting. My first reaction when Drew came out from behind the door at the start of the show was "wow, he looks...odd." That's not a dig at Drew -- he looks great -- but it's just the shock of seeing someone who's looked a certain way for 20 years appear a lot thinner. Took me a moment to get my mind wrapped around it.

I was rather impressed that Drew didn't make any mention of the weight loss. Maybe he thought that the way he looked spoke for itself. One contestant did get in a quick "you look great" but beyond that they didn't address it.

They also didn't mention why there's a new announcer, J.D. Roberto. Drew called Robert a "guest announcer" because the show is going to try out several people before they pick a permanent guy (and for some reason I assume it's going to be a guy, so sue me).

I didn't expect Drew to explain why former announcer Rich Fields is no longer on the show, of course. It's the wrong setting for that and there's really no time. But I'd like to hear more about why Fields and the show went their separate ways and why the show didn't think Fields couldn't fit in with the new changes.

As for Roberto, he's fine. In fact, his voice has a quality that reminds me of an announcer from the '70s and '80s whose name escapes me at the moment. Which is good, since Joel makes the observation that Drew now has a Bill Cullen vibe about him, and if you're going to be a game show host that's a good vibe to have.

For the most part -- and this is why we love 'The Price is Right' so much -- the show doesn't really change that much over the years. Sure, they can add new games once in a while and update some of the graphics (but only some) and change hosts and make it a little more modern, but in its bones it's still the show we all loved back in 1975.

More thoughts on the new season:

• The models: The women seemed to have mics this year so we can actually hear what they say when they talk to Drew. Or as the show's website says, "More of the models and less of Drew." Over the years Drew and Bob Barker would often say something to the models but you couldn't hear what they said. Now you can. Not sure if I like this development, but it should be OK if it's not overused. There's been talk that the show wants to create more of a fun "team" atmosphere, getting the announcer(s) to banter more with Drew, and having the models miked up could be part of that.

• Pay The Rent: It's funny how a lot of the games on the show are pretty similar in their structure, they're just given a different name and they use different props and a different mechanism to play the game. Pay The Rent isn't exactly a different type of game (compared to Rat Race, which they introduced last season), but it does have a big prize, $100,000, the biggest cash prize for a single game the show has ever had.

It's a big set too, a giant house with appliances that looks like it came out of an old Warner Brothers cartoon. The object of the game is to put grocery items on various floors of the house, from the mailbox in the front yard to the furniture in the top floor of the house. If the items on each floor add up to more than the items you put on the floor below it, you win. First $1,000, then $5,000, then $10,000, then the $100,000.

It's not as hard as it sounds, but it also isn't as interesting as it sounds either. It's actually a rather average game spruced up with a colorful set and a big payoff. (Note: the first contestant got to the $10,000 level but went for the $100,000 and didn't win.)

So it's great to have the show back. My day always feels a little off if I don't watch 'The Price is Right' (and very off if I watch a repeat), so it's nice to have a new season started. It's the ultimate comfort food for a TV fan.

Here's a video that explains the changes to the show, including how Drew lost all the weight.

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elaine bensen


September 30 2010 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maybe Drew lost all the weight because he's FINALLY going to marry his fiance this year and SHE gave him the ultimatum? As for losing Rich Fields I'm very sad, the new guys voice is totally throwing me off. Hopefully whoever they choose next will have a better voice for me. :/

September 21 2010 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jodie's comment

I don't like the new announcer either! He sounds like he should be wearing a bo-tie! Bring Rich back!!

September 23 2010 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The 25yr old ExecProd says Drew worked out and ate right but instead Drew looks drawn and pallid up close, that ain't healthy. I wonder if he was given an ultimatum, because he's carried that weight his whole life, and it's part of what's made him the famous guy he is, so why lose weight now at this stage ?

He was either given an ultimatum by his bosses or by his doctor, but good luck keeping that much off, old eating habits die very very hard.

September 21 2010 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Price is Right announcer had become one of the shining lights in an otherwise fading program. He's gone now, replaced by clownish childish people with the personality of a post. I'll never watch Price is Right again!

September 21 2010 at 9:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Rich Fields was a great announcer(although he could never replace the legendary Rod Roddy). I would choose Burton Richardson to replace Rich, because he is no longer with Family Feud, and he has the most experience as a Price announcer because of Rod Roddy's extended absences before his death. If only Rod Roddy were still living!

September 20 2010 at 11:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Ott

The 10 Chances game looks a bit too colorful with
its blue and yellow paper or reveal tags as it were.
The buttons are yellow, too. TPIR tried the purple
wheel, but that didn't work, so they changed it
back to black. I think 10 chances will eventually
revert back to its original white papers and red
button scheme, once they see how drastic a change
they made to the game, but that's just my opinion.
Punch A Bunch did the same thing with its green
and yellow higher/lower price tags, but that game
looks better, compared to 10 Chances' card designs.

September 20 2010 at 11:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Richard Ott's comment

As for the new game "Pay the Rent", it only took me one time of watching it to realize that it is NOT about picking the lowest items first. It is actually easy to do that and win the $10K, but to get the $100K - one will have to save the lowest and next to most expensive product to put together before the top layer.

October 08 2010 at 2:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rich Keller

Gene Wood did announcing for 'Family Feud,' and 'Card Sharks.' Johnny did work for 'TPIR' and 'Match Game.'

September 20 2010 at 7:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rich Keller's comment
Bob Sassone

As I said, I didn't say the 70s/80s game show announcer I was thinking of was from TPIR. I think it's Gene Wood that Roberto sounds like.

September 21 2010 at 9:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

I didn't mean the announcer I'm thinking of was from TPIR, I mean game shows in general. As someone on Twitter said I think it's Gene Wood I'm thinking of.

September 20 2010 at 6:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The announcer from the 70's and 80's was Johnny Olsen.

September 20 2010 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the reason they are not talking about his weight loss is because he is very ill.

September 20 2010 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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