7 October 2006
The Price Is Right is a television game show format currently owned by the FremantleMedia wing of the RTL Group, originally created by Bob Stewart, then an employee of Goodson-Todman Productions in the United States.
The original format, which first aired on the NBC and ABC television networks in the United States from 1956 until 1965, hosted by Bill Cullen, generally involved four contestants bidding on lavish prizes; after a pre-determined number of bids, the player whose bid was closest to the correct value of the prize (without going over) would win it. At show's end, the player who had won the most (by dollar value) was declared the champion and returned to play again on the next episode.
An updated version of the format premiered in the United States in 1972 on the CBS televison network. In this new iteration, contestants place one bid on an offered prize; the player who bid closest (but not over) then got to play one of several mini-games (dubbed Pricing Games in most countries) for an additional prize. One contestant, through various elimination formats, could find themselves winning a large showcase of prizes at the show's conclusion.
In 1984 a British version based on the 1972 American version made its debut on ITV.
The 1972 American version, hosted by Bob Barker, is still currently airing on CBS and is believed to be the second longest-running game show in the world, trailing only the Spanish-language variety show Sábado Gigante; it is also the longest running five-days-a-week game show in the world, with Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! second and third, respectively. Price is only one of two game-show franchises to be seen nationally in either first-run network or syndication airings in the US in every decade from the 1950s onward; the other is To Tell the Truth, another show created by Bob Stewart for Goodson-Todman.