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Most people live in reality... He commutes.

Today is

A Real Life "Cliff Hanger" - 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 solutions here:

¦ 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 host, anyone?

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 jb.regis@verizon.net.

 

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