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Second Chances
November 13

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 chance.

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.

Jason Block would love a first chance at Drew's stage. E-mail him at