The Showcase (The Price Is Right)

The Showcase is the major prize round on the game show "The Price Is Right".

The two winners of the Showcase Showdowns in each episode compete against each other in the Showcase; in the show's original half-hour format, the two on-stage contestants with the most winnings advanced to the Showcase. The two prize packages each typically involve three prizes or prize packages usually connected by a common theme or a story; they are normally worth between $12,000 and $40,000, although they occasionally exceed this range (particularly on "special episodes"), with the biggest daytime showcase worth over $90,000. Primetime specials in recent years have offered showcases worth $100,000 or more.

Game Play

One showcase is shown, and the contestant with the greater winnings coming into the Showcase round (the "top winner") has the option to either place a bid on the Showcase or pass it to their opponent who won the lesser amount of the two (the "runner-up"), forcing them to bid on it. After the bid is placed, the second Showcase is presented and bid upon by the remaining contestant. The contestant who has bid nearer to the price of their own showcase without going over wins their Showcase. An overbid cannot win, and if both contestants overbid, nobody wins. This is usually called a "Double Overbid".

During the first five "taped" daytime and nighttime shows, in the case of a Double Overbid the losing horn would sound and the contestants would bid again until at least one of them was not over; According to producer Roger Dobkowitz, it was discarded after the calculators used to determine the players' differences got "all screwed up" while computing a second set of bids on the third nighttime episode (based on notes in his own stats), which led to the episode being thrown out and replaced when nobody on the staff could figure out how to fix them.

This rule lasted until the September 12, 1972 episode (the sixth taped daytime episode) - ironically, the first Double Overbid occurred that day.

The Double Showcase Rule

On daytime shows, beginning on or around April 15, 1974, if the winner bid "less than" $100 below the actual price of their own showcase, the contestant won "both" Showcases. To reflect inflation, the margin was raised to $250 "or less" beginning with Season 27 in 1998. The rule has been adopted on all CBS primetime versions since 1986.

If there is a tie where the differences are within the Double Showcase Range, both contestants would win both Showcases; this has never happened, although on March 24, 1975 the contestants' differences were $30 and $29.

Beginning on the Season 36 primetime specials, to accommodate the higher value of Showcases presented in primetime (usually over $80,000), a $500 (originally $1,000 in the first six taped specials) range has been implemented. A $1,000,000 bonus is also awarded with a Double Showcase Win on these special episodes only.

Ties

If the two contestants are exactly the same distance from the actual prices without going over (a tie), each wins their own Showcase; this has happened at least once in the show's history, on an episode of the first nighttime season with Dennis James.

In a 1989 taping, an error occurred in calculation of the showcases, and both players were awarded their respective showcases.

Bidding $1

As some contestants often do in the One Bid round, contestants have also bid $1 on their Showcase hoping that the other contestant has overbid. This is rare and is generally only used if the other contestant's overbid is very obvious.

Perfect Bids

It is believed that there has been only one perfect bid in the Showcase in the history of "Price", occurring on the 1970's nighttime run hosted by Dennis James; the podium purportedly displayed "00000". Because there was no Double Showcase Rule on this nighttime syndicated version (or at least at the time), the contestant only won their own Showcase.

A perfect bid has never occurred on the daytime show; the closest anyone has bid to their Showcase is $1 (March 5, 1980), although there have been at least two people who overbid by $1 (and thus lost) - July 12, 1974 and October 19, 2004.

howcase Presentation

The Showcases are presented in several ways. In some cases, the announcer simply lists off the prizes, particularly for lower-priced showcases. However, the vast majority of showcases have a theme of some sort. Many of these themes are recurring, such as trips "Around the World", prizes for "Every Room in the House", prizes delivered to the "Train Depot"/"Port O'Price", and "The Price Is Right Department Store", where prizes are presented in an elevator setting.

Primetime series will often feature closely related showcase themes, such as "Urban vs. Rural" or "High-Tech vs. Low-Tech", and this concept has carried over to the daytime show. Until the late 1990's, the announcer would often participate in the Showcases along with the models, and production assistants appeared in a handful of showcase skits in the 1970's, most notably Roger Dobkowitz.

Often special events will result in special showcases. In 1992, a showcase was designed around The Young and the Restless to commemorate its 5,000th episode, complete with Melody Thomas Scott and Peter Bergman making appearances. That Showcase included an appearance as an extra on the show as a prize.

howcase Skits

The show's models will often present showcase prizes as part of a skit, usually (but not always) in nonspeaking roles with the announcer narrating. In the past, the models (especially when they were permanent models) had speaking roles, and the announcer himself will participate in the skit.

eason 36 (2007)ndashPresent

Further creativity in Showcase themes and presentation have been added since Drew Carey began hosting. The writers' strike of 2007, which did not affect the show, was parodied in a Christmas showcase in reference to elves going "on strike" against Santa Claus. Two Showcases (one of them the Halloween 2007 episode) featured Roger Dobkowitz in roles (Dobkowitz had appeared in 1970's Showcases), while on June 13, 2008 the United States Women's National Soccer Team made an appearance in a soccer-themed showcase. (Drew Carey is an official United States National Team photographer, and co-owner of the expansion Seattle Sounders FC in MLS.) Abby Wambach announced a prize in the showcase, a trip to Greece.

For Season 37, the Los Angeles Kings NHL team was featured in a hockey-themed Showcase, complete with a kayfabe hockey fight involving two players as part of presenting the prizes. [ [http://nhl.fanhouse.com/2008/09/10/kings-make-appearance-on-the-price-is-right/ (NHL Los Angeles) Kings Make Appearance on The Price Is Right] ]

The Host

Prior to Season 37, the host almost never participated in the Showcase skits. Of the 7,517 daytime and nighttime episodes produced through Season 36, a host appeared in the showcase only a handful of times; at least twice for Bob Barker (April 1, 1976 and an unspoken pose on June 11, 2007), at least twice for Dennis James (December 25, 1974 [James hosted four episodes of the daytime show from December 24-27, 1974 when Barker fell ill (taped December 2)] and a Fall 1974 syndicated episode), and at least once for Tom Kennedy (Fall 1985); "at least" is used here because not all the Showcases ever used on the show are known to the general public.

Beginning in Season 37, however, Showcase skits featuring the host have become more common. Rich Fields has also participated in showcases during Season 37.

On the syndicated "The New Price Is Right", this was much more common; Doug Davidson participated in multiple Showcase skits on this 1994 version along with announcer Burton Richardson, usually bantering with Richardson and joking about or mocking the prizes given.


= "The New Price Is Right" =

On the syndicated nighttime version hosted by Doug Davidson, the Showcase was played in a different manner, as there was only one contestant at the end of each episode. The contestant would be shown the prizes for their showcase. After that, the round took on the format of the pricing game Range Game. The contestant would then randomly select a length for a "range finder" that was built for this series. Each length came in at increments of $1,000 and ranged from $4,000 to $10,000; the board covered a length of $60,000 ($10,000 to $70,000). The range finder was then started up the scale, with the contestant pulling a lever when they thought it was covering the showcase value. If the contestant was correct they won the showcase.

In this version, however, Burton Richardson and Doug Davidson would be involved in some showcase skits.

Foreign Versions

While many other versions of the Showcase follow the same rules as the US (often without a Double Showcase Rule), some have different changes to their format:

On the UK Price Is Right, during the Bruce Forsyth and Joe Pasquale versions on ITV, the player hits a plunger to stop a flashing light from going all over the board, locking in a range between £1,000 and £5,000 on the Bruce Forsyth version or £500 and £3,000 which increased to £4,000 on the Pasquale version. The player is given only one Showcase to bid on, and if the bid falls into the range without going over, the player wins the Showcase (i.e., if a player has a range of £3,000 and bids £22,000, and the Showcase's price was £24,873, the player would win). This format has since carried over to other European versions such as "Cash en Carlo" in the Netherlands, "O Preço Certo" in Portugal, and "Mitä Maksaa" in Finland. The Bob Warman version on Sky One also used this format, but the player chose their range at random from nine cards with values between £250 and £1,000. This was also used on another Dutch version of TPiR called "Prijzenslag". The Leslie Crowther version on ITV used the same format as the United States. The first season also had a rule stating that the Showcase winner could not take home the big prize (usually a car) if the guess wasn't within 10% of the total.

"El Precio Justo" in Spain and "Le Juste Prix" in France used a cross between the US and UK Showcases. The basic rules of the US version were implemented, but the two contestants bid on the same Showcase, and a player's bid had to be within a certain range under the price in order for him to be able to win; the Top Winner would select this range from a video wall, as was done in the UK. The current Spanish version with Juan y Medio also uses this variation.

For most of the run of Italy's "OK, il Prezzo è Giusto", it used the same Showcase format as the US version; however, for the final two seasons, the show adopted the British version of the Showcase. Since only one person could participate in this version of the Showcase, the winners of the two Showcase Showdowns would each take a single spin on the Big Wheel, with the wheel starting each spin on 100; the player whose spin landed on the higher number advanced to the Showcase.

Australia's Price is Right changed the format drastically. Here, the top two winners were given one showcase and a $100 range to work with (if the Showcase was worth $32,487, the range was $32,400-$32,500). With game play similar to the retired American pricing game Double Bullseye, the two players alternated back and forth guessing prices until one got the correct price. That player then arranged the items (seven, later eight) in the showcase in correct order, from cheapest to most expensive (usually a car). If all the items were in correct order, the player won the showcase. This format was used in all five versions (Garry Meadows in 1973 on Ten Network, Ian Turpie from 1981-1986 on Seven Network and 1989 on Ten Network plus Larry Emdur from 1993-1998 and 2003-2005 on the Nine Network).

Starting late in the 2003-2005 run, the Showcase was modified to the Mega Showcase, which was always worth over $500,000 and included a condominium on Australia's Sun Coast. In an attempt to counter "Deal or No Deal", which aired opposite "The Price Is Right" on the Seven Network, the Mega Showcase involved cash buyouts at various points that the contestant could take if he believed he was not going to win. Near the end of the run, the Mega Showcase was replaced with the Monster Showcase, which replaced the condominium with a cash jackpot. A version in the Philippines is the only other version of The Price is Right to use this format.

Germany's "Der Preis Ist Heiss" was only slightly different from the US (more similar to the UK's format), in which the two Showcase Showdown winners (or two Pricing Game winners, this version ran only 30 minutes per episode) only bid on one Showcase and their bids had to come within DM5,000 to win it. On the "Gameshow Marathon" special in 2007, the range became 1,000.

The French-Canadian version, "Misez Juste", did have its Showcase format similar to the U.S. version, only there was no Double Showcase Rule, and contestants played the round from the Contestant's Row podiums.

Originally, Mexico's "Atínale al Precio" did not have a Double Showcase Rule, but starting with Season 2, they adapted the rule - a contestant had to be within MX$100 to win both.

References and notes


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