This is Jason Block, and I
want to talk about the 2nd biggest story that broke this week in the
world of game shows. The Writers Strike dominated the news, but a little
story snuck by that has people in the game show community either loving
it or hating it.
Syd Vinnedge, the new executive producer of the Price is Right, said in
an article in the Orlando Sentinel, that a new rule has been instituted
that will allow anyone who competed in the Price is Right before 1997 to
be allowed to be considered to be a contestant.
This to me is a fantastic move. My colleagues at WLTI are like "Give
people who haven't played a chance". I say, with all due respect, stop
whining. I do not believe that the contestant coordinators are going to
blindly put former contestants above the people who have not played.
That is putting them down.
To be a bit self-serving, I will even go a step further. I think that
everyone before the rule change on Jeopardy where the limitation on
winning was 5 days should be allowed to get a 2nd bite at the apple,
champions included. We all have played the fantasy game, asking
ourselves what would have happened if Chuck Forrest, Frank Spangenberg,
Robin Carroll and others would have gone more than 5 days. I say, give
them a shot.
You see, the idea of one and done to me is passť. A lot of game show
contestants who both have not succeeded and who have moderately
succeeded would like to get another bite at the apple. Do I personally
think that Ken Jennings should play Jeopardy again as a regular player?
No. But I do think that people who might have been either hampered by
restrictions or other considerations, might want and deserve a second
There is precedent for this. In 1984, when Jeopardy was reborn with Alex
Trebek, they allowed contestants from the Art Fleming version on the
air. Is Vinnedge saying that with a new host, there is a new version? In
his mind, he thinks it is.
So, here's the deal. I know I am going to get some mail on this, and
some people are going to say that I am whining because I never got my 5
day shot. But there is precedent to this, and I think Vinnedge is doing
the right thing here. Shouldn't you allow Vinnedge the courtesy to at
least put the idea in place before shooting it down? Or are the critics
being hypocritical giving the idea of Drew Carey as host a chance, but
this idea has no shot?
You be the judge.
Block would love a first chance at Drew's stage. E-mail him at