In the original version of "The Price is Right," four contestants one a returning champion competed throughout the show. After a merchandise item was displayed (often by beautiful models aka Pretty Purchasers), the contestants, one at a time, bid on the item. Unless otherwise specified, each bid had to be higher than the previous bid; each contestant could "freeze," or stop bidding, if they believed their next bid would cause them to overbid, thus disqualifying themselves from winning the prize. The bidding continued until an undefined time limit expired. Host Cullen then announced the price of the item; the contestant who bid closest without going over won the prize (and on occassion, won either a bonus prize or got to play a bonus game). The last prize of the day usually was the most valuable and often determined the day's champion, who got to return to the next show. A special feature of the original "Price is Right" allowed home viewers to bid on special showcases. When the show ...Written by
Brian Rathjen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
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