Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dear Price, We Hardly Knew Ye



I found out today that one of my favorite TV shows is taking a different direction starting this fall. I come from the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school, and I find the changes rather disappointing.

In light of the recent sniping concerning Drew Carey's job performance as host, I should say that Drew isn't my biggest disappointment. I think that the changes in TPIR mirror larger cultural changes as well as a general trend towards progressivism and away from tradition.

Bob Barker and Johnny Olson were professional broadcasters. Drew Carey is and always will be a comedian. Viewed through those filters, I think the differences between Carey and Barker make a lot more sense. I also believe professionalism in broadcasting is long-gone, and that is unfortunate.

From Rich Fields' open letter to his fans:
Mike [Richards, current TIPR executive producer,] explained to me that he loves having the "house bands" and "live performers" all the time on TPIR and that he hopes to make it more of a "variety show within a game show". He believes that having a comedian at the announcer's position from now on will enhance this new change in direction.

The problem with "new directions" is that they necessarily take the show away from its roots in a sort of golden age for game shows. Mike Richards was born in 1975; Bob Barker started hosting TPIR in 1972. It makes sense, but that doesn't make it any easier for me to live with.

I really hope that Fremantle Media hasn't consigned The Price is Right to a slow, painful death. It used to be one of my favorite TV shows. It's not anymore.

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