Author Topic: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.  (Read 8717 times)

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Offline Prizes

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Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« on: April 12, 2020, 04:30:25 PM »
Roger Dobkowbitz made a rather important, salient point on Facebook about the show as it stands today: Whatís the future of a show like this in these times? I tend to think he was a bit pessimistic but the overall point stands that this is a show that, like LMAD (but unlike Wheel, Jeopardy, Millionaire), simply cannot tape with social distancing given the live selection of unknown long audience members. Youíve got a host close to players, who is then in touch with hundreds more at a time, often twice on a giving taping day, plus all the people Drew is in correspondence with for other events, theoretically. It compares really to a smaller scale sporting event, and those are in limbo for even the fall events right now, like college football.

I think short term youíre airing reruns once this season finishes up in June at least until 2021. But from there? Whatís practical? Does the show die off in light of safety concerns if we still havenít found some sort of long term medical treatment? I donít mean to make this about the virus itself but itís absolutely the impetus for whatís going to happen one way or the other here.

I think eventually youíre going to have to try electronic methodologies through something like Discord if thereís bottom line interest from CBS to ensure new content of their well-rated program(s) eventually happen(s). The other genuine possibility is cancellation, given a would-be lack of viability to these options. Personally, this is unlikely, but warrants mention.

Any other ideas? It might be a bit early for such talk given how much can change, but itís a message board. Itís meant to invoke speculation by means of discussion.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 05:13:19 PM by Prizes »
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Offline imhomerjay

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Re: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2020, 04:49:42 PM »
Itís a very valid question and is applicable across the entertainment spectrum. There are going to be very long-term ramifications until there is a vaccine, and that assumes no additional pandemic, when the whole thing could repeat.

Narrowed down to Price and its closest peer, I think weíve seen the end for a prolonged period. Yes, people will gradually return to workplaces, but the world is changing dramatically. Some shows can be reasonably adapted, even if the effect is clearly different. As constructed, Price isnít. And I donít see a practical long-term way to make it work.


Offline tpiradam

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Re: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2020, 06:08:53 PM »
I do feel it may be a tad early to speculate anything but I will definitely weigh in with some opinions. The way I see it is that as long as these measures are in place for the time being there isn't much that can be done. Once this pandemic is over I don't think things will immediately go back to the way they were but I certainly don't see it as a cause for ending the show.

Offline SteveGavazzi

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Re: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2020, 06:27:56 PM »
I think there's a certain amount of overreacting going on here.  Yes, the show will have to stay shut down for a while and maybe even forgo finishing out the season, but once Los Angeles sees fit to lift its lockdown order, I'd imagine most productions will be champing at the bit to get back up and running.  There might need to be some extra restrictions in place for a while -- say, limiting the audience to residents of LA or refusing entry to people from certain states or cities -- but I really doubt this is going to lead to a massive overhaul of where people sit, never mind how the whole show is produced.
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Offline gamesurf

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Re: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2020, 06:56:59 PM »
Roger Dobkowbitz made a rather important, salient point on Facebook about the show as it stands today: Whatís the future of a show like this in these times? I tend to think he was a bit pessimistic but the overall point stands that this is a show that, like LMAD (but unlike Wheel, Jeopardy, Millionaire), simply cannot tape with social distancing given the live selection of unknown long audience members.

I no longer trust Roger to give a fair assessment of the show. I love hearing his old war stories about his days, but he hasn't been privy to the information CBS would need to make that decision for 12 years now, and he's writing mostly for an army of sycophants.

There's a non-zero chance this changes the landscape of TV irrevocably. I certainly hope that doesn't happen. That possibility deserves to be considered. But to a large chunk of Roger's audience, the show died years ago and they're just using his post as an opportunity to soapbox and complain about their pet issues. I don't think that feedback loop is worth paying attention to.

I think short term youíre airing reruns once this season finishes up in June at least until 2021. But from there? Whatís practical? Does the show die off in light of safety concerns if we still havenít found some sort of long term medical treatment? I donít mean to make this about the virus itself but itís absolutely the impetus for whatís going to happen one way or the other here.

My understanding is that "flattening the curve" assumes that people are going to get sick, but if we stretch that period out our hospitals can cope. It does not assume that we can contain it totally, or that we can reasonably keep people from getting together in groups until a vaccine is developed (which is likely 12-18 months away) But it does assume that we can prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed and that those most at risk will be able to get the care they need.

It is unreasonable to assume everybody will be able to keep up social distancing for a year. People are going to have to be reintroduced into society before there's a real vaccine, taking appropriate precautions.

But that isn't going to happen on the same schedule all over the country. Different areas are going to have different timetables of recovery. Some areas are going to be fine after a few weeks and get to move on, but that does not mean the rest of the country is safe to follow suit.

California began social distancing early. They have been doing a fine job of flattening the curve, which will save lives and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. That also has the side effect of stretching the curve out.

Even if other areas in the country get cleared to be reintroduced, theaters open, etc., that doesn't mean that LA is going to suddenly be open for business and they're going to just throw open the floodgates in California. Hub airports are a big potential risk.

It compares really to a smaller scale sporting event, and those are in limbo for even the fall events right now, like college football.

I would think college football has a better chance of happening than most other forms of entertainment. Whether that means playing without fans, splitting the season from October/November-February/March or pushing the entire season to the spring. If college football doesn't happen at all, the loss of revenue will be financially devastating for many universities.

I think eventually youíre going to have to try electronic methodologies through something like Discord if thereís bottom line interest from CBS to ensure new content of their well-rated program(s) eventually happen(s).

I hope not. I welcome Price trying to adapt, but doing it without an audience cheering you on just isn't the same. Price is more than its games and host and props--without the atmosphere it just isn't the same. I would prefer seeing reruns for a year before I would want to see contestants Skyping in. It would make the program a fundamentally different show.

Heck, I would even take "studio at 1/3 capacity, two of every three seats are taped off, all audience members must be under 50, in perfect health, and prove they reside in LA and didn't fly here" before I would want to see contestants Skyping in.
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Offline 123123123

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Re: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2020, 06:58:49 PM »
It's probably early to be thinking so far ahead, but it's still an interesting hypothetical to think, however unlikely it might be.

Sport entertainment seems to be held in higher regard than others forms of entertainment in terms of getting them back on track, probably due to the amount of money they bring in. I believe if and when televised music festivals, fashion shows, other forms of non-sport entertainment come back and the protocols put into place will give more information on how large audiences such as TPiR will be dealt with for the forseeable future.

First thought is I hope that any decision made, whether that be going back to taping, revamping the show or canceling altoghether, is not made in a haste. Like Prizes said above, reruns for the next season would not be the worst thing if it meant it gave whoever in charge more time to come up with a plausible solution. I'm pretty sure on any given day, the only people who realize an episode is old are on this site. 

Next, this is based on the idea that we as society are incapable of discovering some type of treatment/cure besides self-quarantine. Of course, with all the clinial trials and federal regulations that would have to be cleared, it seems a bit unlikely such a treatment could be found and then streamlined across hospitals in multiple cities/countries efficiently in a timely manner. If there is anyone who has more knowledge about the timeline of vaccinations/drug treatments, please feel free to correct me.

So the best way I could see them doing if taping in 2021 rolled around with conditions similar to now is trying to minimize physical interaction to as little as possible. First off, the "easier" part to figure out probably would be gameplay. Most of the games on the show don't need the contestant to touch anything, or even be on the stage to play (other than Race Game & Bonkers). My thought is there could be a designated area/podia where the contestant stays while they tell Drew or one of the models what their choices are.

Now, the hard part would be recreating the audience hype TPiR is known for. I feel attempting to try and get a consistenly large audience for taping with virus scares would be too much to ask, so I would attempt to try and garner attention in a different way. Let me preface by stating I wouldn't want to change the format if possible, I'm merely stating different possibilities for the sake of the conversation at hand. My idea would be to have a single contestant for each episode and, at the onset, the home audience learns a little bit more about them (family, life story, etc.). Then that one contestant plays though pricing games until they lose, where they keep what they've already won. Then another contestant would come up and repeat. Remember when Ken Jennings was on his historic streak? Imagine how it would look when someone win some absurd amount of pricing games in a row.

Once again, let me emphasize that this would be a downgrade to the great show we have now and there probably won't be a need for any revamping, but I doubt that CBS would let their award winning game show go down without trying everything.  :-)
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 07:01:25 PM by 123123123 »

Offline tpir04

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Re: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2020, 07:00:36 PM »
There's one thing we have to ask ourselves before we make any attempt to discuss the future of the show: Will the coronavirus become a permanent part of our way of life? No. Of course not. We'll overcome it just like we've overcome every other plague we've been afflicted with. That being said, what benefit would CBS/Fremantle gain by cancelling the show for something that is temporary? Nothing. If anything they'll lose the viewers that the regular season (and by extension the reruns) pulls in. As far as contestant selection is concerned, there's really nothing stopping the producers from only letting 100 people in per taping (or less if needed) and having them sit six feet apart. We've had a limited audience before, we can sure as hell do it again.
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Offline thepriceis_J

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Re: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2020, 08:07:26 PM »
I really don't understand the cancellation talk. A lot of shows use audience and every show that uses an audience is not going to get canceled. Yes, I know the audience is more important to Price and LMAD, but they'll be fine.

Like Steve said, once restrictions are lifted, a lot of people are going to be itching to go back out and that includes attending shows. Again, repeating him, there might need to be a change in some procedure or audience size, but the show will be fine even if things will never be truly normal again. Referencing something tpir04 mentioned, the show recorded an episode with a severely handicapped audience in the late 80s when a storm hit LA. Both sides of the studio were empty and it created a peculiar situation of trying to shoot around that. The show still came out fine.

Drew's been hosting the series for 13 years and the show's been going for 48. There are plenty of episodes to repeat and run in the interim until things get back to normal and I'd honestly be surprised if the show doesn't live through this. This just all seems like an overreaction and high strung speculation.

If there is a need to create content or to get the cast and crew back to work during this, I do like the idea of having at home contestants video call in to play individual pricing games. Drew and Co. in studio with prizes and props of games that could translate and easily be played remotely by folks at home. LMAD has previously done at home deals, and Let's Ask America existed, so that's certainly something I could find possible.
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Offline jayfranken

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Re: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2020, 08:22:24 PM »
The Price is Right is VERY re-run friendly, the vast majority of the viewing audience wouldn't even notice they were watching a rerun in Spring 2021 unless George is saying something along the lines of "It's a 2020 Kia Rio". And with a large segment of the population home for the forseeable future that likely missed episodes over the last few years when they were first aired it would likely be one of the more cost-effective decisions CBS could make to make sure it was on their schedule.


Offline Wayoshi

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Re: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2020, 08:35:02 PM »
A vaccine is far away but one will come, we humans are good at engineering, the process for a vaccine is just naturally on the length of 1-2 years.

So worst case, the show is on reruns for a year plus? CBS could use this time to air some of the best eps of all time, if they're smart.
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Offline Superballer

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Re: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2020, 09:46:25 PM »
As you note, we will get a functional vaccine in due time.  If we're really lucky, perhaps either an effective stopgap treatment (maybe the plasma therapy that has been mentioned from time to time) will come into common usage in the interregnum, or the best case scenario, the virus mutates into a less virulent form where it's no longer deadly.  It will take some time to get all this together, but by and large we are on the right path as of now. 

A best episodes of all time series to fill any gaps would indeed be great if it can come together.  Of course, episodes featuring furs and models Bob's still at odds with will likely be out of play for the time being, but that still leaves plenty available to work with (would any royalties have to be paid to Mark Goodson's and Bill Todman's estates/heirs for episodes where they were still in charge?) 

Offline mechamind

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Re: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2020, 09:49:14 PM »
With all the trips offered, I really can't say the show is re-run friendly, at least not for now.

They'd have to phase out all the trips, portable cameras, and other small travel items. Bring in more home theater/household prize packs, desktop computers, and kitchen appliances. That can help send the proper message: STAY THE doop HOME.

Even if you win a car or cash prize, you could save it for later when things return to normal. You can't do that with a trip.

Offline gamesurf

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Re: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2020, 10:06:09 PM »
With all the trips offered, I really can't say the show is re-run friendly, at least not for now.

Why not? They're already running first-run shows with that disclaimer. "This episode was taped before the COVID-19 outbreak." It's already obvious, since there's 300 people in the studio. What's the difference between that and reruns?
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Offline JayC

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Re: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2020, 10:55:59 PM »
I would guess that they will look to start taping again after stay at home orders are lifted in California, and they would possibly limit contestants to just from California, lower the number of people in the audience and give everyone a temperature and symptom check, and not offer trips until there is a widely available vaccine. Of course it would be bad if they did start taping again and then there ends up being a case among the staff or someone that was in the audience then they would have to stop taping again for probably two weeks. Worst case scenario is they have to air reruns until late this year or sometime next year. Doing the show with Drew in the studio and contestants video calling in might work, but there's a limited amount of games that it would be feasible (mainly the quick games and ones that don't require physical action by the contestant).

Also, if they are able to, it would be really nice for them to do a special saluting healthcare workers.

Offline PayingTheRent

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Re: Will The Price be Right?: The Possible Future of the Show.
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2020, 03:08:06 AM »
All of us on this board come from different areas of the country (some of us are in different countries entirely!) and are subject to ó in some cases ó vastly different protocol for handling this virus.  I live in Tennessee, and unless an announcement is made today, our stay-at-home order ends Tuesday.  By all indications, weíre trying to reopen the state for business as soon as possible.  I wonít argue the potential benefits or consequences of that decision, but thatís where we are at.  Compare that to a state like Michigan where you arenít even allowed to travel to a second home if you own one anywhere in the state.

My point is, weíll all be at different stages come this summer.  Weíll probably be back to playing Little League games with a full crowd in my state.  New York might just be opening JCPenny back up (assuming they even survive this) at that point.  Given the success California has had so far, it wouldnít surprise me if studios reopen within the next couple of months ó Television City included.  Will Price have to be shot with a limited audience?  Maybe so.  Will the show go an entire year without tapings and be subject to cancellation?  Hell no!

Most of you may never have heard of him, but Clay Travis is a popular sports media influencer in the Nashville area with over 600,000 followers on Twitter ó mostly sports fans.  He ran a poll the other day asking his followers (who are, again, mostly sports fans) if they would be willing to attend a sporting event this summer or fall without a coronavirus vaccine existing.  77% of respondents said ďyes,Ē and thatís out of 89,000+ people who voted ó a really great and genuine sampling of sports fans.  Translate that to other avenues, and Price will have no problem filling an audience once they get the go-ahead.  I donít buy into the argument that weíre going to somehow become anti-social at public gatherings because of this.  Just my opinion, but I certainly wonít change my habits, especially once we either a) have a vaccine or b) have a widespread, proven treatment with drastically positive results.

Our favorite game show will be fine.  We might see limited audiences or a delayed start to Season 49, but the show isnít going away.  The better question to ask is how will the prize budget be impacted?  If the economy is slow to recover, CBS will have a much harder time selling ads at the rate theyíve been accustomed to, which will translate into a limited prize budget.  Also, trips are their bread and butter for cutting corners with the budget.  If you canít offer trips until a vaccine is released, how do you fill that gaping hole without destroying the budget?  Those are the questions Iím more interested in right now, not speculation over something that has a less than .01% chance of happening.

Pardon my language, but I do believe we all need to calm the f*** down.