The New Price Is Right (Sky One, 1989-1990)
When Sky One launched in 1989, they decided to make some original programming for their schedule alongside the imports. These included some game shows, but they weren’t original formats, they were actually revivals of shows that used to be on ITV. One of them was Sale Of The Century, and another one was The Price Is Right (which by this point had a “New” added to its title).
The Price Is Right ended on ITV in 1988 after 100 successful editions, so in 1989 Sky One bought the show for its first revival (I think only Blockbusters has had as many revivals as The Price Is Right on British TV). Leslie Crowther was gone though, and the new host was Bob Warman. Who he? Well the show was still being made at the Central studio, and Warman hosted the local news in the Central region at the time, so maybe it was something to do whilst waiting to host the news.
Another notable thing about The New Price Is Right was that it used the same theme music as the original American version had since the early-70s (I will get round to reviewing the American version soon), and the set design was changed to a rather nasty green and red combination. Warman would come on stage accompanied by too many glamorous co-hosts to much applause from the overexcited studio audience, four of which were then invited to “come on down” for a chance to play various games.
They then had a chance to play for some prizes, and most of these games had been recycled from the ITV version, such as Danger Price, Pick-A-Pair, and of course Cliffhanger! The three winning contestants would then go through to play the Showcase Showdown. Because there were fewer restrictions on satellite channels, there was a lot more sponsorship and product placement on the show than on ITV.
The highest scorer then went through to play for the Showcase. They chose their range at random from nine different amounts on offer, from £250 to £1,000. If their bid was within the range but not over, they won the star prize, and everyone was rather pleased. Another notable thing was that every edition was half-an-hour long so three games were played.
Another point is that there were more advert breaks in the show than what you would get on ITV in a half-an-hour slot at the time, and there were also plenty of trails during the show giving an interesting insight into what other programming was on offer alongside The New Price Is Right in the earliest days of Sky One when there wasn’t exactly a huge amount of viewers watching (indeed I might expand on that in a separate piece).
Trails included the American sitcom ALF, Love At First Sight, a game show hosted by Bruno Brookes, Sky Star Search, a talent show hosted by Keith Chegwin, and The Secret Video Show, featuring sub-You’ve Been Framed! “home video howlers” (as they are always called) that was hosted by Chris Tarrant and Peter Simon? So this show was hosted by two of my favourite TV personalities and I’d barely ever come across it? Well I will definitely have to investigate that one further!
The New Price Is Right ended on Sky One in 1990, and was revived again on ITV in 1995 with Bruce Forsyth as host and more prizes on offer than ever.