The Price Is Right (Australian game show)

The Price Is Right (Australian game show)

"The Price Is Right" was a television game show that has been produced in a number of different formats in Australia.

Original format

Two regional versions based on the original 1950s US format aired nearly concurrently: one on ATN-7 in Sydney, hosted by Bruce Beeby and Keith Walshe from 1957-1959; and one on GTV-9 in Melbourne, hosted by Geoff Manion in 1958.

In 1963, Seven Network aired a nationwide version based of the 1950s US version; it was hosted by Horrie Dargie. [cite web |url= |title=House call aids cut Price blues |publisher=The Age |last=Warneke |first=Ross |date=2005-07-07 |accessdate=2008-05-29]

Modern format

"TPIR" then aired in Australia on what is now Network Ten from 1973-1974; this version was hosted by Garry Meadows. At this time, Reg Grundy Organisation he was licensing many shows from Mark Goodson Productions in the U.S.; they had a flair for making detailed copies of sets, and Price's was no exception. The show started in primetime and was later given a daytime slot on the network. This version established a completely different Showcase round: the day's two top winners first bid on the price of "one" showcase in the "Showcase Playoff", played in the style of the retired US pricing game Double Bullseye; the winning contestant then attempted to place the prizes in order from least to most expensive on a pricing board in the Showcase itself (similar to current US pricing games Hole in One or Eazy az 1 2 3).

Ian Turpie era

"The New Price Is Right" aired on Seven Network from 1981-1986 with host Ian Turpie and announcer John Deeks. In 1984, the show introduced a "carry-over" format with returning champions. Up to that point, the format of the show consisted of three pricing games, the Showcase Playoff, and the Showcase. The new format replaced the third game with the Showcase Showdown from the American version, with 100 earning a bonus prize. The winner faced the champion in the Showcase Playoff, whose winner advanced to the Showcase.

"The Price Is Right" was revived in 1989 for an hour-long version, again hosted by Ian Turpie (airing Saturday nights on Network Ten. This was part of Network Ten's attempted revamp that year; however, it only lasted 12 episodes. The format resembled the US version, with three games, then a Showcase Showdown, then repeat. The two Showdown winners then competed in the Showcase Playoff, with the winner advancing to the Showcase.

Larry Emdur era

"The Price Is Right" was revived again in 1993-1998 on Nine Network, hosted by Larry Emdur with announcer Shawn Cosgrove. The show used the original format of the 1981-86 edition.

The show returned on June 23, 2003 on the Nine Network, again with Emdur (earlier news reports had speculated that former "A*mazing" host James Sherry would be the star, but it never happened). This show carried on the same format until 2004, when it was made a one-hour show to combat the Seven Network's hit "Deal or No Deal", in the hopes that people would stay tuned to the channel for the news after watching the first half hour. This format involved four pricing games; after the second and fourth games, a Showcase Showdown was played, with a $1,000 bonus for achieving a total score of $1. The two Showdown winners then competed in the Showcase Playoff, with the winner advancing to the Showcase.

Cars given away on the mid-'90s version of the program were provided by Daihatsu and later SEAT. Early in the 2003 run, Suzuki cars were used for both the pricing games and the Showcase; once the Mega Showcase was introduced, Citroën cars were used for the pricing games, while Alfa Romeo cars were used for the Showcase. Holden replaced Citroen in 2005.

The show was replaced for a period of one week with a daily version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?".

The Showcase at this time also added a prize of a condominium on the Sunshine Coast, making the showcase worth between $500,000 and $600,000, and making it known as the "Mega Showcase". Before the last prize was revealed (or if the producers knew the contestant was going to lose by misplacing a prize) they were tempted with a "cash buyout" of between $1,000 and $50,000. Three people won the "Mega Showcase"; Marisa Tamboro (on September 15, 2004), Laurie Dennis (exactly one week after Marisa won it), and Joanne Segeviano (February, 2005). Another person did get the Mega Showcase prizes in correct order, but he took the cash buyout of $50,000.

After a few months, the show returned to a half-hour, albeit with a new format. Only two pricing games were played each day, followed by a single Showcase Showdown whose winner advanced immediately to the prize-ordering part of the Showcase. The Showcase dropped the condominium as the top prize, but a cash jackpot was added to the boot of the car to entice the bidder.

The Mega Showcase win of $664,667 (about US$612,000) won by one contestant was a world record for the "Price Is Right" franchise that stood until February 2008, when Adam Rose won US$1,153,908 on the US primetime version of the show.

The show ended on November 24, 2005 and Larry Emdur then signed with the Seven Network to revive the ailing "Wheel of Fortune", which was then cancelled after only a few months. Larry Emdur is now hosting "The Morning Show" on Network Seven.

Pricing game lineup

The following pricing games were played during Larry Emdur's tenure:

(All links below will direct to US description of games)

*Any Number (never played for a car)
*Buy or Sell
*Cliff Hangers (frequently played for a car)
*Clock Game
*Cover Up
*Dice Game (never played for a car)
*Five Price Tags
*Flip Flop
*Grocery Game (sometimes played for a car)
*Hole in One
*Line em Up
*Magic #
*Make Your Move
*Money Game (never played for a car)
*One Away
*One Dollar Deal (Lucky $even)
*Race Game
*Range Game
*Safe Crackers
*Showcase Playoff
*Side by Side
*Squeeze Play
*2 for the Price of 1
*Two Price Tags (Double Prices)


The models of "The New Price Is Right" often drew as much interest as the show itself. Many of the models have become celebrities in their own right. Some of these models include:

*Sarita Stella
*Jacqee Saunders
*Danielle Atkin
*Kathy Lloyd
*Samantha Steele
*Anne-Marie Cooksley
*Kellie Johns
*Elise May
*Susan Thorne


Representations in Film

Fictional scenes from "The Price Is Right" were featured in the 1997 comedy film The Castle, showing the narrator's sister appearing on the show, winning the amount of $4321.


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