As game show fans are all well aware, Bob Barker has stepped down as the host of The Price Is Right. Barker taped his swan song last week and it will air today — first at 11am and then again at 8pm on CBS. The latter will be followed by thr 34th annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards where Barker and the show may pick up their 18th and 19th Emmys. It’s hard to believe his tenure is over after 35 years and 6,586 shows — or is it?
According to sources, the taping of Barker’s last show went pretty much as expected. The audience, many of whom had been waiting in line for days, went crazy when the 83-year old host made his entrance. Lucky contestants played old standards Lucky Seven, Plinko, Range Finder, Double Price and the Grocery Game. The last game played was also Barker’s first: Any Number. During commercial breaks, the host fielded questions from the audience. A the end, Bob used his usual sign off, “Help control the pet population, have your pets spayed or neutered. Goodbye everybody.”.
Once the cameras stopped rolling, he told the studio attendees, “I thank you, thank you, thank you for inviting me into your home for more than 50 years. I’m truly grateful, and I hope that all of you have enjoyed your visit to The Price Is Right.”
And then something unusual happened. Barker offered to come back to work in the Fall. Producers still haven’t settled on a replacement for Barker and the host offered to fill in until they find someone to take his place.
He said, “They’re having trouble finding someone to do the show and I’ve told members of the staff here that… if they wanted me to do it for a few more months, I would do it. I don’t want to walk out on CBS or the company if they’re in that position because they’ve been too good to me.”
Needless to say, the host would be welcomed with open arms. Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia North America, responded, “I am glad to know that Bob is thinking about coming back! We haven’t made our final decision yet because, as you can imagine, we want to make sure that we leave no stones unturned.”
Producers still have several weeks to choose a replacement host. Current frontrunners are said to be Todd Newton from E!, Mark Steines of Entertainment Tonight, and George Hamilton. Whomever they choose, it’s nice to know Barker is ready to step back into the spotlight if needed. Stay tuned!