The Price Is Right is an American game show centered on the pricing of merchandise and grocery products to win cash and prizes. The current version of the show, which was created by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman, premiered on September 4, 1972 on CBS and was hosted by Bob Barker until his retirement on June 15, 2007. Drew Carey succeeded Barker at the beginning of Season 36 on October 15, 2007. From its premiere until June 12, 1973, the show was known as The New Price Is Right. In 2007, TV Guide named The Price Is Right the "greatest game show of all time." The show is well-known for its signature line of "Come on down!" when the announcer directs selected contestants to Contestant's Row. The original version of The Price Is Right aired from 1956-1965 and was hosted by Bill Cullen. While retaining some elements of the earlier generation show, the 1972 revival added many new distinctive gameplay elements and now has the distinction of being the longest continuously running game show in North American television history with more than 8,000 episodes aired. Taped at the Bob Barker Studio at CBS Television City, The Price Is Right has aired over 8,000 episodes since its debut and began its 45th season on September 19, 2016. Bob Barker was the series' longest-running host from its 1972 debut until his retirement in June 2007, when Drew Carey took over in October. Barker was accompanied by a series of announcers, beginning with Johnny Olson, followed by Rod Roddy and Rich Fields. Several models appeared between 1972 and 2000, most notably Anitra Ford, Janice Pennington, Dian Parkinson, Holly Hallstrom and Kathleen Bradley; however, from 2000-2008, models alternated every week. Since October 15, 2007 (aired out-of-order on October 16, 2007, the episode that aired on October 15 was originally scheduled to air on October 30), the show stars Carey as host and, since April 18, 2011, George Gray as announcer. Since 2008, the main models are Rachel Reynolds, Gwendolyn Osbourne, Amber Lancaster and Manuela Arbeláez.
The gameplay of the show includes four distinct competition elements through which nine preliminary contestants (origninally six on half-hour episodes) are eventually narrowed to two finalists who compete in the game's final element, the "Showcase." The segments line up goes like this:
- 1st half of three rounds of One-Bids with a pricing game after each.
- 1st Showcase Showdown
- 2nd half of three rounds of One-Bids with a pricing game after each.
- 2nd Showcase Showdown
- The Showcases
At the beginning of the show, four contestants are called from the audience by the announcer to take a spot on the front row behind bidding podiums, which are embedded at the front edge of the stage. The area is known as "Contestants' Row." The announcer shouts "Come on down!" after calling each selected contestant's name, a phrase which has become a trademark of the show. The four players in Contestants' Row compete in a bidding round to determine which contestant will play the next pricing game (the round is known as "One Bid," which gets its name and format from one of two types of bidding rounds that existed on the Cullen version). A prize is shown and each contestant gives a single bid for the item. In the first One-Bid game of each episode, bidding begins with the player on the viewer's left-to-right. In subsequent One-Bid rounds, the order of bidding still moves from the viewer's left-to-right, but it still begins with the newest contestant. Contestants are instructed to bid in whole dollars since the retail price of the item is rounded to the nearest dollar and another player's bid cannot be duplicated. The player whose bid is closest to the actual retail price of the prize without going over wins that prize and gets to play the subsequent pricing game. If all four contestants overbid, short buzzer tones sound, the lowest bid is announced and the bids are erased. The host then instructs the contestants to re-bid below the lowest previous bid. If a contestant bids the actual retail price, a bell rings and the player wins a cash bonus in addition to the prize. From May 23, 1977 to November 9, 1998, the "perfect bid" bonus was $100; since November 10, 1998, the "perfect bid" bonus is $500. On The Price Is Right $1,000,000 Spectacular, the bonus is $1,000. After each pricing game, another contestant is called to "come on down" to fill the spot of the contestant that won the previous round and bids first in each subsequent One-Bid round.
After winning the One Bid, the contestant joins the host onstage for the opportunity to win additional prizes or cash by playing a pricing game. After the pricing game ends, a new contestant is selected for Contestants' Row and the process is repeated. Six pricing games are played on each hour-long episode; three games per episode were played in the original half-hour format. On a typical hour-long episode, two games-- one in each half of the show-- is played for a new car, one game is played for a cash prize and the other games offer expensive household merchandise or trips. Usually, at least one of the six games involves the pricing of grocery items, while another usually involves smaller prizes that can be used to win a larger prize package. Originally, five pricing games were in the rotation. Since then, more games have been created and added to the rotation and, starting with the 60-minute expansion in 1975, the rate at which games premiered increased. Some pricing games were eventually retired, while others have been a mainstay since the show's debut in 1972. A total of 109 pricing games have been played on this version. Out of those, 77 are listed in the rotation as of 2016. On the 1994 syndicated version hosted by Doug Davidson, the rules of several games were modified and other aesthetic changes were made. Notably, the grocery products used in some games on the daytime version were replaced by small merchandise prizes, generally valued at less than $100. Beginning in 2008, episodes of The Price Is Right $1,000,000 Spectacular featured rule changes to some pricing games which rewarded a $1,000,000 bonus to the contestant if specific goals were achieved while playing the pricing game.
Since November 3, 1975, each episode features two performances of the Showcase Showdown, occurring after the third and sixth pricing games, with each featuring the three contestants who played the preceding pricing games spinning "The Big Wheel" to determine who advances to the Showcase, the show's finale. The contestants play in the order of the value of his or her winnings thus far (including the One Bid), with the contestant who has won the most spinning last. In the rare event two or all three players are tied in winnings, a coin toss or random drawing determines which player spins first. The wheel contains 20 sections showing values from 5¢-$1.00, in increments of five cents. Contestants are allowed a maximum of two spins. The first contestant spins the wheel and may choose to stop with his or her score or spin again, adding the value of the second spin to their first. The second and third contestants then spin the wheel and try to match or beat the leader's score; if they fail to do so, they must spin again. If their total score is either less than that of the leader or over $1.00, the contestant is eliminated from the game. The contestant whose score is nearest to $1.00 without going over advances to the Showcase at the end of the episode. If the first two contestants go over $1.00, the last contestant automatically advances to the Showcase; however, he or she is allowed to spin once to see if he or she can hit $1.00. Any contestant whose score equals $1.00 (from either the first spin or a combination of the two spins) receives a $1,000 bonus and, since December 1978, is allowed a bonus spin, at which point the wheel is positioned on 5¢ and the contestant takes his or her spin. If the wheel stops on 5¢ or 15¢ (which are adjacent to the $1.00 space and painted green), the contestant receives an additional bonus of $10,000. If the wheel stops on $1.00 during the bonus spin, the contestant wins an additional $25,000. Until September 2008, the bonuses were $5,000 and $10,000 for landing on the green section and the $1.00, respectively. If the wheel fails to make one complete revolution or stops on another space, the contestant wins no additional money and is not allowed any more spins. Two or more contestants who are tied with the leading score compete in a "spin-off," where each contestant is allowed one additional spin and the contestant with the higher score advances to the Showcase. Multiple spin-offs are played until the tie is broken. Those who hit $1.00 in their spin-off spin still get $1,000 and a bonus spin. If two or more contestants tie with a score of $1.00, their bonus spins also determine their spin-off score. Only the spin-off score, not any bonus money won, determines which contestant moves on to the Showcase. A tie in a bonus spin spin-off means the ensuing second spin-off will be spun with no bonuses available. Each spin must make one complete revolution in order to qualify. A contestant whose spin does not make a complete revolution is traditionally booed by the audience and is required to spin again, except during a bonus spin, when the player's turn ends. However, if the bonus spin was also part of a spin-off, the contestant is required to spin again but does not have an opportunity to win any bonus money (which has happened at least three times, the last two under Carey, with the most recent being December 17, 2013), similar to a tie-breaking spin after a bonus spin. Because of the weight and size of the Big Wheel, some contestants (such as the elderly or disabled) are unable to spin it hard enough to make a complete revolution, so the host (or a contestant's family member, as was the case on October 23, 2006) may offer assistance in spinning the wheel. According to a study in The Economic Journal, the optimal strategy for winning the showcase showdown (ignoring the value of the cash bonuses) is for the first player to stand on 70¢ or more and for the second player to stand on 55¢ or more. In the event of ties, things are more complicated. In the event of a tie with the first player, the second player should stand on 70¢ or more. The third player should stand on 55¢ for a two-way tie and 70¢ for a three-way tie.
At the end of the episode, the two winners of the Showcase Showdowns compete in the show's game finale, the Showcase. Before the introduction of the Showcase Showdown in 1975, on the half-hour episodes, the two contestants with the highest winnings advanced to the Showcase. A "showcase" of prizes is presented and the top winner has the option of placing a bid on the total value of the showcase or passing the showcase to the runner-up, who is then required to bid. A second showcase is then presented and the contestant who had not bid on the first showcase makes his or her bid. Unlike the One Bid, the contestant bidding on the second showcase may bid the same amount as their opponent on the first showcase, since the two contestants are bidding on different prize packages. The contestant who has bid nearest to the price of their own showcase without going over wins the prizes in his or her showcase. Any contestant who overbids is disqualified regardless of their opponent's result. A double overbid results in neither contestant winning his or her showcase. Also, unlike the One Bid, there is no additional bonus for a perfect bid. Since April 15, 1974, any contestant who comes within a specified amount from the actual retail price of their own showcase without going over wins both showcases. From April 15, 1974 to June 12, 1998, the amount was less than $100. Since September 21, 1998 (aired out-of-order on September 22), it has been $250 or less. Terry Kneiss, an avid viewer of the show, recorded and watched every episode for four months prior to when he and his wife had tickets to attend in September 2008. Kniess learned that many prizes were repeatedly used (always at the same price) and began taking notes. Kneiss was selected as a contestant on September 22, 2008 (aired on December 16, orignially scheduled to air November 27), lost his pricing game (the only contestant to completely do so that episode), made it to the showcase round and guessed the exact amount-- $23,743 for a karaoke machine, a pool table and a 17-foot camper. Many show staffers, including Carey, were worried that the show was rigged and that Kneiss cheated, but Kneiss later explained that he had seen all three items in his showcase before and knew the general prices in the thousands. The 743 he used because it was his PIN, based on his wedding date (July 4) and his wife's birth month (March). Carey gave a very cold subdued reveal of this seemingly historical moment and was later criticized for it. He attributed this to his fear that Kniess had committed a violation of federal regulations prohibiting the fixing of game shows, which can result in severe penalties.
As of November 2009, the show had given away approximately $500,000,000 in cash and prizes. Furs have not been offered as prizes since Barker's tenure as host (although wool and leather are now permitted). Several Barker-imposed prohibitions have been lifted since his departure, such as offering products made of leather or leather seats in vehicles and showing simulated meat props on barbecues and in ovens. The show has also offered couture clothing and accessories, featuring designers such as Coach Inc., Louis Vuitton and Limited Brands in an attempt to attract a younger demographic, as well as electronics such as smartphones, personal computer systems, video game systems and entertainment centers. Other prizes which have frequently appeared on the show since its beginnings include automobiles, furniture, trips and cash. The most expensive prize offered on this version of the show was a Ferrari 458 Italia Spider sports car, priced at $285,716, that appeared on the April 24, 2013 (aired out-of-order April 25) episode during "Big Money Week." The prize was offered during the 3 Strikes pricing game. Prior to this, the most expensive prize was a Tesla Roadster (valued at $112,845), featured on the April 22, 2010 episode in the pricing game "Green Road (during specially themed episodes, games are often renamed to fit their theme; the game is usually Golden Road, but the game's name was changed because of the episode's Earth Day theme).
Since the show's debut, automobiles have been a signature prize on The Price Is Right. Most hour-long episodes have two pricing games that are each played for an automobile and in most episodes (although not all), at least one of the two showcases will include an automobile. For special episodes, there will often be more cars offered. From 1991-2008, almost all automobiles offered on the show were made by companies based in the United States, specifically Detroit's Big Three (although cars made by these companies' foreign subsidiaries or in a joint-venture with a foreign company were also offered). The move was made by Barker, in his capacity as executive producer, as a sign of patriotism during the first Iraq war in 1991 and as a show of support to the American car industry, which was particularly struggling at that time. When Chrysler merged with German automaker Daimler-Benz in 1998 to form Daimler Chrysler AG (now simply Daimler AG after Chrysler split from the automaker; Chrysler is now controlled by Italian automaker Fiat), the foreign ownership of Chrysler did not affect carrying any Chrysler-related models. Since Barker's retirement in 2007, cars made by foreign companies have been offered, most notably Honda, which has several factories throughout Ohio (the home state of Carey and then-announcer Fields). Through product placement, certain episodes from 2008-2009 featured Honda as the exclusive automobile manufacturer for vehicles offered on that episode. The major European (Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, Fiat) and Asian (Hyundai-Kia, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi, Geely, Tata) manufacturers have all provided cars on the show since the ban was lifted, with premium foreign cars almost exclusively used for games that generally offer higher-priced cars, such as Golden Road and 3 Strikes. Starting in 2010, vintage and classic cars have occasionally been offered as prizes for games which do not involve pricing them, such as a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air and a 1964 Bentley S3, among others. These cars are usually offered in games where their prices are irrelevant to gameplay, such as Hole in One (or Two) or Bonus Game.
The record for largest individual total in cash and prizes on a daytime episode is held by Christen Freeman. On October 28, 2016, during the show's "Big Money Week," Freeman won $210,000 cash playing Cliff Hangers. The record for winnings on the primetime show is held by Adam Rose. On February 22, 2008, the first $1,000,000 Spectacular since the host transition, Rose won $20,000 playing Grand Game and both showcases, which included a Cadillac XLR convertible in his own showcase and a Ford Escape Hybrid in his opponent's showcase, plus a $1,000,000 bonus for being within $1,000 of the actual retail price of his showcase, bringing his total to $1,153,908.
Bob Barker (1972-2007) Edit
Barker began hosting The Price Is Right on September 4, 1972 and completed a 35-year tenure on June 15, 2007. Barker was hired as host while still hosting the stunt comedy show Truth or Consequences. His retirement coincided with his 50th year as a television host. His final show aired on June 15, 2007 and was repeated in primetime, leading into the network's coverage of the 34th Daytime Emmy Awards. In addition to hosting, Barker became executive producer in March 1988 when Frank Wayne passed away and continued as such until his retirement, gaining significant creative control over the series between 2000 and his 2007 retirement. He also was responsible for creating several of the show's pricing games, as well as launching The Price Is Right $1,000,000 Spectacular primetime spinoff. Reruns of Barker's final season were aired throughout the summer from the Monday after his final show (June 18, 2007) until the Friday before Carey's debut (October 12, 2007), when the season finale was re-aired. During his time as host, Barker missed only one taping due to illness (December 2, 1974). Dennis James, who was hosting the syndicated nighttime version of the show at the time, filled in for him on four episodes that aired on December 24-27, 1974. After he became a noted animal rights advocate in 1981, shortly after his wife's death, Barker signed off each broadcast with the public-service message, "Help control the pet population: have your pets spayed or neutered." Carey continued the tradition upon becoming the new host in October 2007. Barker made three guest appearances on the show, the first of which was during the Showcase round on April 16, 2009 to promote his autobiography, Priceless Memories, giving copies of the book to the audience. He made two more appearances: December 12, 2013, as part of the show's "Pet Adoption Week," to celebrate his 90th birthday. He appeared at the start of Act 3, called down Evelyn Rokeburg (the day's seventh contestant) in place of Gray (complete with the calldown window) and returned during the Showcase round to present the second showcase. His third and most recent appearance came on April 1, 2015, as part of the show's "April Fool's" episode, to host the first One Bid and pricing game-- Lucky $even-- as well as the second showcase.
Drew Carey (2007-present)Edit
On October 31, 2006, Barker announced that he would retire from the show at the end of season 35. In March 2007, CBS and Fremantle Media began a search for his successor. Carey was chosen and made the announcement of his selection during a July 23, 2007 interview on The Late Show with David Letterman. Carey's first show aired on October 15, 2007 (that episode was originally scheduled to air as Drew's 12th episode on October 30, while the episode that aired on October 16 was originally scheduled to air as Drew's first episode on October 15). Craig Ferguson, Carey's former cast mate from The Drew Carey Show, hosted the April Fool's Day episode in 2014, swapping places with Carey, who hosted the previous night's episode of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, with Gray, Reynolds and Arbeláez appearing. Shadoe Stevens served as announcer, with Geoff Peterson and Secretariat, Ferguson's sidekicks on The Late Late Show, serving as models.
Olson, the announcer for many Goodson-Todman shows of the era, was the program's original announcer until his death in October 1985. Olson was replaced by Roddy in February 1986, who remained with the program until shortly before his death in October 2003. Roddy was replaced by Fields, who served as KCBS-TV meteorologist, in April 2004 and stayed on until the end of Season 38 when, following a change of direction and a search for an announcer with more experience in improvisational comedy, Gray, whose previous game show stint was host of the syndicated version of NBC's The Weakest Link, was confirmed as the show's fourth and current announcer on the April 18, 2011 episode. After Olson and Roddy's deaths and Fields' departure, a number of announcers auditioned before a replacement was hired. In addition to Roddy, who ultimately took over as announcer, Gene Wood, Rich Jeffries and Bob Hilton auditioned to replace Olson. Former Family Feud announcer Burton Richardson, Paul Boland and former Supermarket Sweep announcer Randy West substituted for Roddy during his illnesses. In addition to West and Richardson, Daniel Rosen, Art Sanders, Roger Rose, Don Bishop and current Wheel of Fortune announcer Jim Thornton also auditioned to replace Roddy. On December 22, 2006, Richardson substituted for Fields while he recovered from laryngitis. In addition to Gray, who eventually took over as announcer, TV host JD Roberto, comedians Jeff B. Davis, Brad Sherwood, David H. Lawrence XVII and actor/comedian Steve White also auditioned to replace Fields.
To help display its many prizes, the show has featured several models who were known during Barker's tenure as "Barker's Beauties." Some longer-tenured Barker's Beauties included Bradley (1990-2000), Hallstrom (1977-1995), Parkinson (1975-1993) and Pennington (1972-2000). Pennington and Bradley were both dismissed from the program in December 2000, allegedly because they had given testimony on Hallstrom's behalf in the wrongful-termination litigation she pursued against Barker and the show. Following the departures of Nikki Ziering, Heather Kozar and Claudia Jordan in the early-2000s, producers decided to use a rotating cast of models (up to 10) until the middle of Season 37, after which the show reverted to five regular models. Since March 24, 2008, the models include Reynolds, Lancaster, Osbourne and Arbeláez. Carey does not use a collective name for the models, but refers to them by name, hoping that the models will be able to use the show as a "springboard" to further their careers. In a change from previous policy, the models appearing on a given episode are named individually in the show's credits and are formally referred as "The Price Is Right models" when collectively grouped at events. Since Season 37, the show often uses a guest model for certain prizes, often crossing over from another CBS property or come courtesy of the company providing the prize. Some such models have been male, especially for musical instruments, tools, trucks and motorcycles and used in guest appearances during the Showcase. Owing to the traditionally female demographic of daytime television shows, CBS announced that the game show would add a male model for a week during Season 41, fitting with other countries with the franchise that have used an occasional male model, as Reynolds and Osbourne were both expecting children at the time. The show held an internet search for the first male model in an online competition that featured Reynolds, Lancaster, Osbourne, Arbeláez and executive producer Mike Richards serving as judges and mentors during the web series, narrated by Gray. On October 5, 2012, CBS announced that the winner of the male model online competition was Rob Wilson, who appeared as a model on episodes until April 15, 2014, at which point the contest was repeated, with auditions taking place during the FIFA World Cup break between May and July 2014 and ended with James O'Halloran of Australia being named the winner.
The game show production team of Goodson and Todman was responsible for producing the original as well as the revival versions of the game show. Goodson-Todman staffer Bob Stewart is credited with creating the original version of The Price Is Right. Roger Dobkowitz was the producer from 1984 until 2008, having worked with the program as a production staffer since 1972 after graduating from San Francisco State University. Occasionally, Dobkowitz appeared on camera when answering a question posed by the host, usually relating to the show's history or records. When he left the show, Variety reported that it was unclear whether he was retiring or was fired, although Carey indicated in a later interview with Esquire that Dobkowitz was fired by Vinnedge. As of 2011, the show uses multiple producers, all longtime staffers. Adam Sandler (not to be confused with the actor) is the producer of the show. Stan Blits, who joined the show in 1980 and Sue MacIntyre are the co-producers. Kathy Greco joined the show in 1975 and became producer in 2008; she announced her retirement October 8, 2010 on the show's website, effective at the end of the December 2010 tapings. Her last episode as producer, which aired January 27, 2011, featured a theme in tribute to her. The show's official website featured a series of videos including an interview with Greco as a tribute to her 35 years in the days leading up to her final episode. Wayne, a Goodson-Todman staffer since the 1950s, was the original executive producer until his death in March 1988, at which point Barker assumed that role until his retirement. Previous producers have included Jay Wolpert, Barbara Hunter and Phil Wayne Rossi. Michael Dimich assumed the director's chair in June 2011. Marc Breslow, Paul Alter, Bart Eskander and Rich DiPirro each served long stints previously as director. Former associate directors Andrew Felsher and Fred Witten, as well as technical director Glenn Koch, have directed episodes strictly on a fill-in basis. Sandler has also directed episodes in 2012. Aside from Barker, the show's production staff remained intact after Carey became host. FremantleMedia executive Syd Vinnedge was named the program's new executive producer, with Richards becoming co-executive producer after Dobkowitz's departure in 2008. Richards was a candidate to replace Barker as host in 2007, before Carey was ultimately chosen. Richards succeeded Vinnedge as executive producer when Season 38 started, with Tracy Verna Soiseth joining Richards as co-executive producer when Season 39 started, while Vinnedge remains credited as an executive consultant to the show.
Audience and contestant selectionEdit
Many audience members arrive early on the day of a taping and often camp out the night before to attend. Most have already received tickets for that day's show, although some hope to get same-day tickets. Audience members are then given the iconic name tags with a temporary identification number, which is also written on the person's ticket. A Social Security Number (or some national ID number for non-U.S. audience members) is also required to be submitted. Audience members are eventually brought through in groups of twelve for brief interviews with the production staff. Contrary to popular belief, contestant names are not chosen at random; rather, the interviews determine possible selections for the nine contestants per taping from among the pool of approximately 325 audience members. Since 1988, the minimum age for audience members has been 18; prior to 1988, teenagers and children as young as 12 were present in the audience. With few exceptions, anyone at least 18 years old who attends a taping of the show has the potential to become a contestant. Those ineligible include current candidates for political office, employees of CBS Corporation or its affiliates, RTL Group or any firm involved in offering prizes for the show. Contestants who have appeared on a different game show within the previous year or either two other game shows or any version of The Price Is Right itself within the past ten years are also ineligible. The show’s staff alerts potential contestants (in person, on the show's website and on the tickets themselves) to dress in "street clothes" and not wear costumes, such as those used to attract attention on Let's Make a Deal, another show that featured contestants selected from the audience. Those who attended tapings in June 2008 noted that producers disallowed audience members from wearing fake eyeglasses designed to look similar to those worn by Carey, a restriction that has since been relaxed. Instead, contestants will often wear shirts with hand-decorated slogans. Members of the Armed Forces are often in uniform. Cell phones, tape recorders, backpacks, price lists and portable electronic devices are not allowed in the studio. Prospective contestants obtain tickets by contacting a third-party ticketing operator via the show's website, which is promoted on-air during the broadcast. Prior to 2011, ticketing was directly through CBS, originally via mail, with online online ticket access added in 2005. The mail practice ended after CBS began outsourcing ticketing to the third-party operator. In addition, the show discourages contestants from wearing green shirts because some game props use chroma key effects, which can blend into a contestant's shirt. The show began using this effect for trips as a result of switching to 1080i in 2008, but later in the season abandoned the green screen for trips and oversized prizes too large to fit in the studio, replacing them with the use of video screens. Some prizes (mostly water-related prizes) still use green screens to create a simulated "wave" effect. The green screen is now used outside on the show where potential contestants are allowed to be photographed as if they were on the Plinko board, Cliff Hangers set or Showcase Showdown wheel where contestants can post a message notifying them of their appearance on the show on a future date. Occasionally episodes are taped with special audience restrictions. For Memorial Day in 1991, an episode was taped with an audience composed entirely of those who had served in the Armed Forces. Similar primetime episodes were taped in 2002, honoring each branch of the United States military and a sixth episode honoring police officers and firefighters. The annual active-duty-military episode features an all-military audience, a Marine band playing the winner's service song, and contestants being called by rank. The 2008 version was slated to air in daytime on November 18, 2008, then rescheduled to November 11, 2008 (Veteran's Day), but the airing was moved to November 14 to air as a CBS primetime episode. The format contains a unique rule where each One Bid featured one contestant from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. As each contestant wins his/her way onstage, he/she is replaced by a member of the same branch of service. The show features a live military band playing the winning contestant's service song. The traditional name tags also contained the contestant's (or their family member's) service branch. Most civilian attendees were retired or disabled veterans or family members of military. Each contestant was also introduced by his/her rank, which usually does not happen with civilian episodes when military members are introduced and One Bid winners won a $1,000 gift card. Audience members were grouped by branch of service. The 2009 version eliminated the service member from the same branch replaced another after advancing from Contestants' Row rule. Additionally, members from the United States Coast Guard (part of the Department of Homeland Security) were invited to the show. Beginning in 2009, some episodes have featured special themes with two contestants competing as teams, such as married or engaged couples for Valentine's Day and the "Ultimate Wedding Shower" episode. There have been exceptional episodes with minor children (normally not allowed to compete) teamed with a parent (for Mother's Day and Father's Day) or grandparent, also teen drivers and students for "Ultimate Spring Break" and "Back to School." Other special episodes include family members of the Armed Forces (Armed Forces Day episode). Two taped episodes had to be replaced as a contestant was related to a CBS employee and therefore ineligible to be on the show. The other contestants who appeared on that episode were awarded their prizes, but the episode was never aired and cannot be shown because of policies imposed by Barker over prizes on the show. There have been similar instances over the years of ineligible contestants appearing on stage, but were not edited out of the final broadcast since it was discovered in post-production. Usually, these episodes air with a disclaimer from the announcer added in post-production that the contestant was found ineligible. Standards and Practices guidelines for game shows state that if an ineligible contestant wins a One-Bid and the other contestants on Contestants' Row at the time do not win a subsequent One-Bid, they are not considered to have made an appearance on the show and are immediately eligible again once the error has been discovered.
Except for The Price Is Right 30th Anniversary Special, which was taped at Harrah's Rio in Las Vegas, Nevada and aired in January 2002, The Price Is Right has been taped in Studio 33 in CBS Television City for its entire run. The studio, which is also used for other television productions such as