Eleven years after the last UK version, Channel 4 is returning to The Price Is Right format.
Alan Carr has agreed to host a pilot of The Price Is Right for Channel 4
“It’s the world’s longest running game show and spawned one of TV’s most iconic catchphrases. Now Alan Carr will be at the helm of… The Price is Right full of those iconic ‘Come On Down’ moments. Packed with amazing prizes and hysterical pricing games, this is set to be a classic entertainment extravaganza.” – Channel 4
Based on an American series, the original The Price Is Right proved a big hit for ITV in the 1980s, and later Sky TV in the 1990s. Hosted first by Leslie Crowther from 1984 to 1988, and later Bob Warman from 1989, the show saw contestants plucked from the studio audience to ‘come on down’ and try to win big prizes by playing various ‘luck’ games. The Central Television produced series when it launched on ITV in 1984 was quite different to much that had gone before in the TV game show stakes, it was glitzy, loud, with a frenetic pace and screamed showbiz. Some declared it grotesquely downmarket but it was a massive hit on Saturday nights.
Channel 4 are looking to reboot the programme with comedian Alan Carr. The broadcaster at the moment have only confirmed a pilot edition is to be produced, with a series yet to be decided on. The revival of The Price Is Right comes after the success of a one-off special of The Crystal Maze last year, which has now been recommissioned for a full series. It is also a cautious move as the previous relaunch of The Price Is Right in 2006 proved to be a ratings disaster for ITV.
“It’s great to see Channel 4 have learned from ITV’s mistake of putting an annoying comedian with a strange voice in charge of The Price Is Right. Noel Edmonds is a great idea for the host…. oh it’s not Noel? Shame.” – TV critic Vivian Summers
The price was right, but the host was wrong – ITV/Thames’ tragic 2006 attempt at bringing back The Price Is Right.
Taking it seriously, Bruce Forsyth made it a success by not spoofing the 1980s version from 1995 to 2001
The return, just over a decade ago, was hosted by Joe Pasquale. These hour long shows, produced by Thames, were hammed up on the nostalgia of the Leslie Crowther era; with cheap prizes and over excited contestants. This, mixed with enduring an hour of Joe’s squeaky voice, ensured that the programme tanked. It may seem amazing that Joe’s version ran for 124 episodes, however many were recorded in bulk before hitting the air. While Channel 4 was pulling in over 2 million viewers in the 5pm slot Pasquale only managed to pull in 800,000 to The Price Is Right.
A previous revival of the format by Yorkshire Television – also for ITV – saw Bruce Forsyth take charge and proved popular with audiences across its run from 1995 to 2001. The Channel 4 pilot will be produced by Thames Television, part of Fremantle Media who own the rights to the game show format.
“I’m so excited to be the new host of The Price is Right. It’s proper bucket list territory for me as I loved it when I was growing up and now for me to be at the helm of such a legendary show is a dream come true. It just leaves me with one thing to say … COME ON DOWN!” – Alan Carr