Author Topic: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary  (Read 2404 times)

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Offline allnewtpir94

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TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« on: September 16, 2019, 05:46:26 PM »
A few days ago was the 25th anniversary of the Doug Davidson version of TPiR. For many years it was much maligned, and considered an abberation of the franchise. Looking back on it now, do you feel it continues to deserve its dubious reputation, or has opinions changed?

Offline ThomHuge

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Re: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 06:31:15 PM »
I remember comparing notes on it with my grandmother back when it was airing; she didn't feel like it was genuinely TPiR, and I didn't either.

Fast forward a quarter century, and I think it was just ahead of its time. I actually enjoy watching what episodes I can find on YouTube, and I really wish we had something like that today to supplement the daytime show. I don't think Doug Davidson was the best choice for a host they could've made, but they also could've done a lot worse.

The set and music were different, but were appropriate for nighttime. I think something like that could probably work today, in part because it'd be a departure (read: respite) from all the overhyped million-dollar games we've had the last couple of years. I for one would enjoy something simpler and more down-to-earth.

In short...TNPiR'94 offers me something that shows Million Dollar Money Drop and Deal or No Deal never could.

Offline pricefan18

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Re: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2019, 06:42:27 PM »
I remember comparing notes on it with my grandmother back when it was airing; she didn't feel like it was genuinely TPiR, and I didn't either.

Fast forward a quarter century, and I think it was just ahead of its time. I actually enjoy watching what episodes I can find on YouTube, and I really wish we had something like that today to supplement the daytime show. I don't think Doug Davidson was the best choice for a host they could've made, but they also could've done a lot worse.

The set and music were different, but were appropriate for nighttime. I think something like that could probably work today, in part because it'd be a departure (read: respite) from all the overhyped million-dollar games we've had the last couple of years. I for one would enjoy something simpler and more down-to-earth.

In short...TNPiR'94 offers me something that shows Million Dollar Money Drop and Deal or No Deal never could.

I think if they took the format they had and altered it a little bit to be more like the daytime show (read: add a one bid round, maybe 3 people vs. 4 if they wanted and keep the rest the same, only eliminating Price WAS Right for the wheel for all episodes), it coulda worked. The format certainly had success in the UK when they adopted it a year later with the one bid added. I can't see why it wouldn't have worked here had they done that.

Offline ThomHuge

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Re: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2019, 06:58:34 PM »
I think if they took the format they had and altered it a little bit to be more like the daytime show (read: add a one bid round, maybe 3 people vs. 4 if they wanted and keep the rest the same, only eliminating Price WAS Right for the wheel for all episodes), it coulda worked. The format certainly had success in the UK when they adopted it a year later with the one bid added. I can't see why it wouldn't have worked here had they done that.

Regarding the one-bids--when I used the TNPiR'94 set for a college project, everyone kept asking me what happened to the fourth contestant. I had to explain that the show didn't actually have IUFBs, with contestants coming right up on stage--and that what looked like contestants' row was actually only used for the showcase showdowns, and even then only some of the time.

It resulted in a lot of confused people.

Offline pricefan18

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Re: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2019, 07:20:54 PM »
Regarding the one-bids--when I used the TNPiR'94 set for a college project, everyone kept asking me what happened to the fourth contestant. I had to explain that the show didn't actually have IUFBs, with contestants coming right up on stage--and that what looked like contestants' row was actually only used for the showcase showdowns, and even then only some of the time.

It resulted in a lot of confused people.

Yeah I could see that. That could possibly backfire too I suppose in practice.

Offline imhomerjay

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Re: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2019, 08:52:44 PM »
A carbon copy (in 30 minute form) or something closer to it might have fared no better; after all, it was a bit less than a decade earlier such an effort also failed to make it to season two.

A number of factors worked against Price in '94. Yes, "OJ" was one. Dreadful time slots in too many markets (defined not just as the actual hour on the clock, but the competition it was up against...including Oprah, Wheel and Jeopardy at the pinnacle of their success...not to mention the stations that aired it in some cases) and a period where new game successes were few and far between (again, Wheel/Jeopardy). And perhaps Price's time as a syndicated entry had passed.

That said, the show was a creative and engaging reimagining of the familiar. Frankly, by that time, I for one preferred its fresh look, and modernization of some elements of the game. Not the least of those was the host--by 1994, I'd found Bob's shtick entirely predictable and hokey, but to each their own.

The ratings would indicate no one (figuratively speaking) found the show to begin with. So be it. That's failure in the business. But it also doesn't point to a thirst for something and a rejection once people found it.

Offline pricefan18

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Re: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2019, 09:12:54 PM »
A carbon copy (in 30 minute form) or something closer to it might have fared no better; after all, it was a bit less than a decade earlier such an effort also failed to make it to season two.

A number of factors worked against Price in '94. Yes, "OJ" was one. Dreadful time slots in too many markets (defined not just as the actual hour on the clock, but the competition it was up against...including Oprah, Wheel and Jeopardy at the pinnacle of their success...not to mention the stations that aired it in some cases) and a period where new game successes were few and far between (again, Wheel/Jeopardy). And perhaps Price's time as a syndicated entry had passed.

That said, the show was a creative and engaging reimagining of the familiar. Frankly, by that time, I for one preferred its fresh look, and modernization of some elements of the game. Not the least of those was the host--by 1994, I'd found Bob's shtick entirely predictable and hokey, but to each their own.

The ratings would indicate no one (figuratively speaking) found the show to begin with. So be it. That's failure in the business. But it also doesn't point to a thirst for something and a rejection once people found it.

In 85 though there were more game shows out there than 94, although maybe that could be part of why Price didn't catch on too in the syndication market/wouldn't have even in a more carbon copy format akin to the earlier ones with whatever twist they'd have kept, since at that time not counting it and Feud, Wheel and J were all there really was in that arena.

Incidentally, I'd argue that Bob was at his hokiest and most predictable in the last 10 years or so of his run, moreso after Janice and Kathleen left. In 94, and even a bit past that, he wasn't quite there yet. He was pretty engaging still in many ways that became less so later on. So I'd not say he was that tired exactly in 94 in his style.

Also too, it's funny to look back at all the skits TNPIR did, not too far off what Carey and company would try a couple seasons in to his era themselves. Everything recycles after a while I suppose huh.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 09:15:38 PM by pricefan18 »

Offline imhomerjay

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Re: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2019, 09:53:11 PM »
Sure, 85 had more games, no doubt. Wheel and Jeopardy were fresher and while Wheel in particular was building quickly even then few could have genuinely foreseen what theyíd go on to become.

The continued spread of what might be charitably called trash talk took up more real estate a decade later, and thatís a factor as well. Itís not solely a question of the number of shows in a genre, itís the competition for eyeballs. As a general principle, people arenít single-genre viewers. Fewer games in 94 didnít mean a slew of disaffected fans out there looking for a new game, or perhaps a variation on a familiar one. It just meant the eyeballs were elsewhere.


Offline Chelsea

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Re: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2019, 10:50:43 PM »
the 1994 version is a pure delight. 

I've got about half the run (want more), have recently been watching it, and honestly, I think it's a version that's aged incredibly well over time. 

Doug is fun, reactive, and would have improved over time - this is 100% not a knock on Drew, who I really think the world of, but Doug was better out of the gate than Drew was even two or three years in - and with literally thousands of episodes of the daytime Price doing the exact same show basically the exact same way, the 90s primetime run is a breath of fresh air.

The show deserved FAR better than being axed in December and petering out week to week in early '95 with only 80-ish aired shows (and probably at least a few unaired ones)
« Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 11:10:01 PM by Chelsea »

Offline goldroadfanatic

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Re: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2019, 06:24:51 AM »
I asked a similar question on the forum five years ago, for this version's 20th anniversary, and my thoughts are the same:

When I first got into the fandom, I read that the Davidson version was not received well at all.  I read about the many changes to the set, the game rules, the music, and Doug wasn't a good fit for the show.  The only information I had were secondhand remarks from those who watched the show back in the 1990s, and any RealPlayer clips on site's like tpir.tv.  I let those opinions shape my perceptions of the show.

After watching several episodes on YouTube over the years, I have since discovered that I like it for what it is, not what I thought it should have been when I first discovered it (a carbon copy of the daytime show).  The set and music fit the primetime atmosphere well, and it was an attempt to bring the show into the 1990s.  Sure, that modernization aspect failed to click with fans (and potentially viewers) at the time,  but it provided a basis for the daytime show as it implemented set and music changes over the next several years.

The syndicated version's showcase skits were better than the daytime show's.  Having Jay Wolpert back on board, and with only one showcase, meant that creativity and zany skits could shine once again.  Those were largely gone by the time Dian left at the end of Season 21, so having that great aspect of the show return was praiseworthy, in my opinion.

As for Doug, I think he tried too hard to be funny and enthusiastic at first.  But when I watched episodes towards the end of the run in 1995, he did mellow down and moved the show along well.  Also, he found new ways to interact with the contestants, and played on their traits, without relying on routines.  So his improvisational abilities should be lauded.  Also, as Chelsea said, Doug had energy and enthusiasm right out of the gate, which was what The Price is Right needs in its host.

Some of the rule changes were good compromises to suit the time constraints and big-money feel of this version, like giving the first digit free in 3 Strikes, and having small prizes in Grand Game and Hole in One instead of grocery items.  However, Plinko was botched with its different slot layouts ($2,500 on the edges of the board instead of bordering the two zero slots, and a layout with a three zero slots, including one in the center, but with two $5,000 slots where the zero slots normally went), and changing the unique first-or-last digit game into a higher/lower one.  Also, Clock Game was botched with no actual set and having four-digit prizes to bid on (though they did spot the contestant with a $1,000 range to accommodate such prizes).

The Price Was Right was an interesting twist on eliminating two contestants, and the Range Game showcase round provided a new level of gameplay from the daytime show's Showcase round and Showcase Showdown, respectively (though the Big Wheel was brought out on occasion because there weren't enough clips to play The Price Was Right for every show).

Overall, this show had potential and I think improvements would have been made over time if it found an audience and gained momentum.  Perhaps Contestants Row might've returned, or The Price Was Right would have been scrapped completely in favor of  the Showcase Showdown.  Both elements are strongly associated with the show and serve as a hook for viewers to know that they're watching The Price is Right, and they would have warmed up to this version.  Also, Doug would have continued his improvement as a host.

I do enjoy seeing new episodes come on YouTube to find out what new ideas they tried and how Doug interacted with the contestants.  For a quick 20-30 minutes of pricing games and excitement, this version works very well.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 06:33:52 AM by goldroadfanatic »
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Offline Chelsea

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Re: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2019, 07:46:02 AM »
Your fun fact I found out in passing from someone  The Plinko board with three zeroes and two $5Ks was used in the pilots.

Now, whether that means that shows with that configuration were the earliest taped shows and then they realized it was dumb and changed it (and the Davidson run most definitely did not run in taping order), or whether they decided to just roll out the daytime-esque configuration and alternate I'm not sure since I don't know which episodes taped when. 

Honestly, I liked the idea of having the second largest amount on the board be as far away from $5000 as possible, and also liked having an amount between $1K and $5K (a problem that's only worsened over the years)

Offline UltraPrice

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Re: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2019, 10:01:16 PM »
Does anyone have a list of which Pricing Games were and weren't played on the Davidson Version?

Offline kens5368035

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Re: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2019, 12:42:54 PM »
question: Should TNPIR 94 & Feud 94 have been combined to make it a Wheel-Jeopardy type package?

Offline Trevor Tuominen

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Re: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2019, 12:44:06 PM »
Some stations paired them up.

Offline pricefan18

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Re: TNPiR'94 25th Anniversary
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2019, 06:50:03 PM »
Some stations paired them up.

I bet more woulda too if Feud 94 wasn't an hour officially. That has to be remembered here. It wasn't like the previous syndicated years where it was a standalone half hour. I would wonder too what that mighta done for both shows actually.....if Feud 94 was a half hour only. But we'll never know.