A Real Life "Cliff
- May 15
Jason Block is in full on PriceWatch (TM) mode this
week. As you may or may not know. Bob Barker's final
Million Dollar Spectacular and a tribute to his 50 years
in television will be airing on Wednesday and Thursday
of this week on CBS.
But as of this writing, a dark cloud looms over
Television City to mar the celebration. As of this
writing, Mark Steines is getting yet another tryout in
front of a live Price Audience on Monday May 14. He is
one of the final three rumored to get the gig to replace
Mr. Barker along with Todd Newton and George Hamilton.
This is a horrifically bad signal to me. We all know
Barker's footprints on TPIR and the television landscape
in general are massive. Even at this late date, with no
even emerging as a frontrunner (even with the rumored
names falling by the wayside), Fremantle, CBS and Barker
are afraid to pull the trigger.
So, what are they to do? I believe there are a few
¦ Pick of one of the three rumored hosts that have been
contracted (Newton, Hamilton, Steines) and hope they can
survive the inevitable ratings drop.
¦ Select someone not on the list who has auditioned or
maybe a surprise candidate from nowhere (Fields, et al.)
to see if they can survive the ratings drop.
... or (and this is what I think they should do.)..
¦ Cancel the show.
Yes, you heard me right. I don't care if the show is #1
in daytime and a huge ad revenue stream for the local
stations as a lead in to the local news. CBS has a major
problem here. Either you lose ad revenue slowly with a
wounded animal --a host the public will prejudge and
judge harshly in September and beyond....or you make the
bold move of sending Barker and TPIR into the sunset.
Gordon Pepper and I were having this discussion last
week about this. I believe that when Sajak and Trebek
leave Wheel and Jeopardy respectively, they CAN be
replaced. The game is bigger than they are. It will be
hard, but I think it can be done... Probst for Jeopardy
With Barker and TPIR you have an American and worldwide
phenomenon. You have a man who is an icon, and in my
opinion CANNOT be replaced even if the fanboys and
fangirls got the host we wanted.
So if CBS were smart they would announce at the upfronts
this week that they searched high and low for Barker's
replacement and they just couldn't do it. THAT would be
the biggest tribute of all.
And then, TPIR would waltz off on the Golden Road and
into the sunset.
Not fall off that cliff with
Hans right behind.
You agree or disagree? Fire me off a letter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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