"A fortune in valuable prizes may go these people today if they know when... The Price Is Right!"
- Announcer Johnny Olsen
From 1956 until 1965 The Price is Right was seen both in daytime and primetime, a top 10 hit hosted by the late great Bill Cullen on NBC, later ABC. Seven years after the show was cancelled The New Price is Right (as it was originally named) starring Bob Barker became an immediate smash when it was revived and updated on CBS daytime in 1972.
Bob Barker had a marvelous way of bringing out the best in contestants, a skill he developed as the host of Truth or Consequences (airing in syndication in the sixties & seventies). This made Barker unavailable for the syndicated nighttime version of TPIR so game show veteran Dennis James got the job; that version only lasted 5 seasons.
Here's the very first episode of The Price is Right - boy, those 1970s prices are righteous!
That episode is a little stiff, being the first and all, so let's get a look at Bob Barker at his peak in 1975. This was shortly before the very first hour long episode, once CBS realized more people were tuning in for the second half than the first CBS made it permanent in November 1975. In 1975 TPIR ran 45+ minutes, now it's around 38 minutes.
Dennis James hosted the syndicated nightime version - but I thought he was the wrong person for the job, too harsh. Here he subs for Bob Barker on the Christmas Day 1974 episode of the afternoon show. Where would this game be without the exciting music beds by Score Productions? I want to go around in life with that music playing behind me!
Lots more game show fun here!