As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Drew Carey has won the coveted position as host of CBS’ The Price is Right. Previous host Bob Barker stepped down in June after 35 years on the job and many are curious to see how long Carey will stay at the post.
It’s interesting that, after several months of auditions by seemingly more natural choices like George Hamilton, John O’Hurley Mark Steines and Dave Price, CBS chose to go with Carey. Unlike the others, Carey didn’t tape a sample Price is Right episode and has never set foot on the Price set.
The network became interested in Carey after they saw the pilot for his new CBS primetime game show Power of Ten (Power debuts on August 7th and Carey will continue as host). CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler credited network chief Leslie Moonves, who worked with Carey at Warner Bros. during the days of The Drew Carey Show, as coming up with the idea.
Carey initially rejected the job offer, at least in part because he didn’t want to try to fill a legend’s shoes. Still, the network was persistent about working out a salary and schedule that would work and Carey acquiesced. Of his new job, Carey says, “It’s a real honor to be asked and I couldn’t be happier.”
What does 82-year-old Barker think of the new host? He called Carey shortly after the announcement to congratulate him. Barker jokingly told Carey, “I’d like to have you take a long vacation, maybe even a month or two before you start, because I’m getting paid for re-runs.” Barker happily continued, “[Drew] was very pleased that I called him, and he said he is going to continue the spay-neuter plug for as long as he does the show. If he were here, I’d kiss him on the forehead.”
One thing is for sure, Carey’s style is quite different from Barker’s so the game show is likely to go through some changes. For one thing, producers are planning to take the show on the road and broadcast from different cities in the U.S. for a week or two at a time. Will the new Price is Right be able to hang onto its existing audience? Will the ratings grow or shrink? We’ll find out soon enough as Carey’s debut will air sometime this fall. Stay tuned!