NEW YORK – The game show that made the phrase “Come on down!” famous. come down to you.
“The Price Is Right” hits the road, putting the game show on wheels and making 50 stops on a coast-to-coast tour for anyone who can’t make it to the Los Angeles studio.
“It’s kind of an exciting way for us to take something that’s really a huge part of CBS’s legacy and do something new and fresh with it,” said Mike Benson, president and CEO of the marketing at CBS.
The “Come On Down Tour” – separate from the TV show or stage shows – will kick off Friday at the Santa Monica Pier and make stops in cities including Denver, Dallas, New Orleans, Nashville and St. Louis.
Fans will be able to win prizes by guessing the correct retail price of various items in games such as Plinko and participate in a Showcase Showdown. There is also a chance to win a grand prize of $50,000. Proof of vaccination is required.
A custom trailer that can fold games will be on the go. The famous wheel from the game show is part of the truck, but other parts pull out, along with podiums. “We really wanted people to feel like they could come and play the game that they all really know,” Benson said.
Each stop will also try to celebrate local produce and delicacies, with Benson saying “people can have fun guessing the prices of things that are made on site in their own backyards.”
It’s part of plans for the longest-running game show in television history to celebrate its 50th season.
Host Drew Carey, who will kick off in Santa Monica, said one of the reasons “The Price Is Right” has run so long is that it can change while still maintaining the same goal. Over the years the prices have been updated, new games have been added and there has been the introduction of male models alongside females.
“I think that’s what’s great about the show. It is capable, within a framework, of evolving,” he said. “There are a lot of old houses where you’ve remodeled the kitchen and remodeled the living room, and it’s still the same house.”
“The Price Is Right” debuted on NBC in 1956, with Bill Cullen as host and consisting of four people bidding on items. The show was canceled in 1965, but the current version was revived in 1972 on CBS, with Bob Barker as host.
Carey has been a host for 15 years and says it’s easy not to notice small updates: “When you’re here every day, all the changes are so gradual. It doesn’t really affect you. Like, all of a sudden, you look in the mirror and you have gray hair.
Since 1972, producers say more than $300 million in cash and prizes have been given away. Over 2 million viewers attended a taping during those years and 68,000 of them became contestants. More than 8,400 cars were distributed. The show is currently produced by Fremantle.
Marc Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
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