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Lifespan: November 1956 - September 1965, September 1972 - Present
Hosts: Bill Cullen, Bob Barker, Dennis James, Tom Kennedy, Doug Davidson
Models: Beverly Bentley, Toni Wallace, June Ferguson, Carolyn Stroupe, Maryann James, Gail Sheldon, Janice Pennington, Anitra Ford, Dian Parkinson, Holly Hallstrom, Kyle Meriweather, Kathleen Bradley, Gena Lee Nolin, Chantal Dubay, Nikki Ziering
Announcers: Johnny Olson, Rod Roddy
Produced by: Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions (1956-82), Mark Goodson Productions (1982-)

Front Game Rules (1956-65 version)

The contestants make their bids on a prizeFour players competed. During each round, a prize was shown to the group, and each player bids on what they believe the actual retail price of the prize is. Each bidder, must either add a minimum amount to the previous bid, or freeze on their amount. In some cases, only one bid was allowed to each player. After the bidding was over, the player who came closest to the actual retail price of the prize, without going over, won that prize. In some cases, a bonus prize package was revealed to the winning player after the round. At the end of the show, the player with the most merchandise returned the next show.

Front Game Rules (1972- version)

The current version's 'Contestant's Row'At the beginning of each show, four contestants were called out from the studio audience to participate in the game. Each round starts with the contestants bidding on the price of a small prize. The player who bids the closest to the prize's actual retail price without going over won that prize and was invited onstage to participate in another pricing game for more valuable prizes or cash. If all players bid over the price, the bids were removed and the players bid again. A few years into the run, a bonus of $100 was awarded to players who bid the exact price of the prize; this bonus has recently been upped to $500.

One of the dozens of pricing games in the repertoireAfter each pricing game, another contestant is called up from the audience, and another prize is put up for bids. To list every pricing game played would be a fruitless task; for more information on the rules to each pricing game, head on over to Brad Francini's tribute page.

Bob explains the Showcase ShowdownSince 1975, a special game is played after the third and sixth pricing games to determine who advances to the end game, known as the "Showcase Showdown". Each player is allowed up to 2 spins of a large wheel bearing money amounts from $.05 to $1.00. Each player attempted to get as close to $1.00 without going over; the one that did advanced. Hitting $1.00 exactly earned the player $1000 and a bonus spin for a chance at another $5000 or $10,000.

End Game Rules

The final contestants get ready to bid on their showcasesAt the end of the show, the two top winners of the day (1972-5) or the two winners of the Showcase Showdown (1975-) were shown two showcases filled with prizes. After one showcase was revealed, the top winner of the two had the option of bidding on the total retail price of that showcase, or passing it to the other player and bidding on the second. After both bids are made, the players are told the actual retail prices of each showcase. The player who comes the closest to his/her showcase without going over wins it. (If both player overbid, neither player wins.) Later in the run, if a player managed to get within $100 of the retail price (now $250), he/she won both showcases.


The Price is Right is to date the longest-running game show, and one of the longest-running television shows of all time.

Among the many bloopers that have taken place while the show has been on the air: a woman being called to Contestant's Row while in the ladies' room; a woman wearing a tube top being invited to Come on Down, running fast enough for the tube top to slip downward ("She came on down and they came on out!"); countless contestants - particularly Samoans - giving Bob a bear hug upon winning; and the sets to almost every pricing game malfunctioning at one time or another.

Loogaroo Looks it Over

Back before TPiR became a fixture on daytime television, it was a fixture on daytime television. Although the gameplay is stripped-down in the original format, it's no less intriguing to watch. Definitely, the best part of watching the early version is seeing all of the bonus prizes that were given to the winners of certain rounds. Sometimes, the bonus prizes were worth more than what they'd bid on (one of the contestants on the episode I have won a house!). Bill Cullen, of course, is a magnificent choice for this show - this is probably the show that made his stock as a game show host go through the roof. All in all, a great sinple game.

And if you have any doubts about the greatness of this show, take a look at that lifespan again, and see how long the current version has been on the air. As I write this, it's entering its 30th season. Its thirtieth season. Shows like The Better Sex and Hot Potato don't last that long, and for good reason: they don't get everything as perfect as The Price is Right has it. The variety of pricing games, the masterful hosting of Bob Barker, the bright, vibrant presentation, and the traditional, no-frills directing, all add up to a television institution.

The Price is Right (1956-65 version)

Gameplay: 2 pts.
Host: 3 pts.
Presentation: 2 pts.
Execution: 2 pts.
Total Score: 9 pts.

The Price is Right (1972- version)

Gameplay: 3 pts.
Host: 3 pts.
Presentation: 2 pts.
Execution: 2 pts.
Total Score: 10 pts.

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