Primetime summons ‘The Price Is Right’ again

Drew Carey remains as host of CBS evening edition

Drew Carey

If it seems like a novelty to see “The Price Is Right” in the evening, the game show has been there before, and regularly.

Now in the 50th-anniversary season of its current incarnation, the CBS daytime staple has done a number of primetime special editions, and it presents its second of two to launch 2022 with “The Price Is Right at Night” Wednesday, Jan. 19. Host Drew Carey brings all the familiar elements, but the value of the potential winnings is likely to be a bit bigger for nighttime purposes, especially when it comes to the concluding “showcase” grand-prize round.

“The Price Is Right” (which was created by genre titans Mark Goodson, Bill Todman and Bob Stewart) dates back to the fall of 1956, when Bill Cullen presided over a weekday version on NBC that soon yielded a once-week evening spinoff. In 1963, both editions moved to ABC, but they lasted only two more years there.

In 1972, the show was brought back, both in the CBS daytime lineup — where it initially was dubbed “The New Price Is Right,” with Bob Barker hosting — and in a weekly syndicated version that Dennis James presided over at first. The genial, quick-witted Barker became so associated with the program, he also was handed the reins of the evening edition in 1977. That lasted until 1980, though Tom Kennedy hosted a short-lived revival in the mid-‘80s.

Barker remained with the daytime “Price Is Right” until the summer of 2007, accruing competitive Daytime Emmys and a Lifetime Achievement Award along the way. Naming Drew Carey to succeed him was met with considerable surprise. Best-known for his eponymous ABC sitcom, Carey actually had been hired by CBS to front another game show “Power of 10,” so he already was on that network’s radar for that sort of job.

Though the retired Barker remains game-show royalty, Carey has brought his own star power to “Price,” which helps in giving it occasional primetime placement. The game may be the same, but whenever it appears on the schedule now, it’s always right for its many fans.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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