|Index||6 reviews in total|
The original TPIR would likely never fly today; the bidding process would be considered to be entirely too tedious; it should be noted that what is now handled in "Contestant's Row" during this early run comprised the bulk of the show as contestants were allowed to bid and rebid or conversely "freeze" to avoid going over. The highlight of the show would often be what Bill Cullen called his "gimmick", usually a mechanical toy that had caught his fancy. My father really loved this part and was a fan of Cullen and the show in general; I'm surprised how vividly that I remember this early version given my age at the time that it ran.
After watching "The Price Is Right" with Bob Barker for many years, I had read that there was an earlier version back in the 1950's with Bill Cullen as the host and for many years, I waited to see even one episode of this show to compare it with the current version. Luckily, the Game Show Network showed this program and that is when I finally got my chance to view this program. After the initial shock of just how sedate the contestants were, (they did not jump all over the set, scream and run around like a banshee, or make fools of themselves), I found that I really loved this version of the program. The contestants back then dressed up, with women in dresses and men in suits and ties, not like the ....... contestants these days!! Also, this version did not rely upon all the different types of games as the current version does--just four contestants continually bidding on items. I would love to see this back on the Game Show Network schedule and also to see them put out on DVD.
Hearkening BACK TO those Paleozoic days of 1950's television, this
half-hour daytime entry was one in a very crowded sea of game shows on
the networks. It was during this period that guys such as Jan Murray,
Bill Leyden, Gene Rayburn, Alan Ludden, Jack Narz and Tom Kennedy all
became household words; while holding Court over such entries as: IT
COULD BE YOU, THE MATCH GAME, PASSWORD, DOTTO, TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES,
etc., etc., etc...........
SO ALONG CAME likable, personable funny-man, host Bill Cullen with now legendary Announcer, Don Pardo to give America's living rooms a daily dose of good, old fashioned haggling and horse-trading. The show had a certain fascination for all; be they 9 or 90, they all watched.
WHAT WE WATCHED here was essentially a showcase for all sorts of products new to the market. From household products to mew autos, they were all part of the daily orgy of merchandising that unfolded live and in living Black & White.
IN THE HANDS of pros like Mr. Cullen and company, the dramatically charged show was probably a far greater success than anyone had anticipated. Lasting from 1956 to 65, THE PRICE IS RIGHT would go into a brief hibernation; only to re-emerge in 1972 as a retooled, 60 minute version*. This new series is still going strong as we write this.
NOTE * The revamped show was at first called THE NEW PRICE IS RIGHT, but reverted to the original title after while.
I found my way into the Bill Cullen era of Price through the magic of
the internet. I had never seen an episode from this era before, since I
grew up with Bob Barker on CBS. When I searched for "Price is Right"
one day, I decided to see what the show was like in black and white.
After I clicked on the link, I kicked back and saw what I had missed.
It was magic. No forced excitement. It felt so real. Your everyday neighbor playing for everyday prizes? I'll take that over the stuff that you'd see today, because everything feels like it needs to be over the top. 50s Price is Right didn't feel like that, because it didn't have to be. It was successful in its own right.
Before Bob Barker guided The Price is Right that's still on the air
today, there was an original version of the TV classic that was hosted
by Bill Cullen. The format was a lot different back then, four
contestants played for the entire show bidding on merchandise and even
winning offbeat bonus prizes such as an island or a bit part in a TV
One of the keys to the show's success was creator and producer Bob Stewart. He came up with the idea of contestants losing the game if they went over the retail price and most of the bonus prizes. He left the show to start his own production company in 1964.
The other was the outstanding hosting by Cullen, who injected humor and kept the show moving well. It was also a stepping stone for the show's main announcers, Don Pardo and his replacement when the show moved to ABC, Johnny Gilbert. Both are still behind the microphones today.
I have only seen a few episodes on video or the web and I thought it was an outstanding antithesis to the low stakes panel show and the big money quiz shows that were popular in 1956. It was also a simple game where the home viewer could play along.
The original Price is Right ended after nine years since it ran its course. But seven years later, it would be back in a new format where contestants could "Come on Down!"
I was in the business as a child, and was fortunate enough to be around when most of the live television came out of NYC. One of the shows I happened to do quite a bit of work on was the old Price Is Right. I can still remember the cameramen having the patience to explain all the intricacies of just what they did and what the cameras were doing. Sitting there and listening as Bill Cullen spoke of sailing on Long Island Sound. Though I certainly didn't appreciate it at the time, I happened to be a very lucky boy who met so very many famous and talented people in the business. The Price Is Right happens to be one of them.
|External reviews||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|