Game show ‘The Price Is Right’ brings competition to you

NEW YORK (AP) — The game show that uses the phrase “Come on down!” made famous. coming at you.

“The Price Is Right” hits the road, putting the game show on wheels and making 50 stops on a coast-to-coast tour for anyone who can’t make the trip to the Los Angeles studio.

“It’s an exciting way for us to take something that’s really an important part of CBS’s legacy and do something new and fresh with it,” said Mike Benson, president and chief marketing officer at CBS.

The “Come On Down Tour” — regardless of the TV show or live stage shows — kicks off Friday at the Santa Monica Pier and stops in cities like Denver, Dallas, New Orleans, Nashville and St. Louis.

Fans can win prizes by guessing the correct sale price for various items in games like Plinko and participating in a Showcase Showdown. There is also a chance to win a $50,000 top prize. Proof of vaccination is necessary.

A custom trailer that can fold up the games will be on its way. The game show’s famous steering wheel is part of the truck, but other parts can be removed, as well as podiums. “We really wanted people to feel like they could come down and play the game they all really know,” Benson said.

Each stop will also try to celebrate local goods and specialties, with Benson saying, “people can have fun guessing the prices of things made right there in their own backyard.”

It’s part of plans for the longest-running game show in television history to celebrate its 50th season.

Host Drew Carey, who will be at kick-off in Santa Monica, said one of the ways “The Price Is Right” has lasted so long is that it can change and still maintain the same focus. Over the years, the prices have been updated, new games have been added and male models have been introduced in addition to the women.

“That’s the beauty of the show. It is able to evolve, within a framework,” he said. “There are a lot of old houses where you’ve remodeled the kitchen and the living room, and it’s still the same house.”

“The Price Is Right” made its debut on NBC in 1956, with Bill Cullen as the host and consisting of four people bidding on items auction-style. The show was canceled in 1965, but the current version was revived on CBS in 1972, hosted by Bob Barker.

Having been the host for the past 15 years, Carey says it’s easy not to notice minor updates: “When you’re here every day, all the changes happen so gradually. It doesn’t really affect you. Like, suddenly you look in the mirror and you have gray hair.”

Producers say more than $300 million in cash and prizes have been given away since 1972. More than 2 million spectators have attended a recording in those years and 68,000 of them have become participants. More than 8,400 cars have been given away. The show is currently produced by Fremantle.

Mark Kennedy is on http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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