Home TV by Decade TV Shows - 1950s Price Is Right, The

Price Is Right, The

1 9 5 6 – present (USA)
1 9 8 1 – 1 9 8 6 (Australia)
1 9 8 4 – 1 9 8 8 (UK)
1 9 8 9 (Australia)
1 9 9 3 – 1 9 9 8 (Australia)
2 0 0 3 – 2 0 0 5 (Australia)

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Television’s longest-running game show, The Price Is Right debuted in 1956 with Bill Cullen as host, airing alternately on NBC and ABC.

Contestants were able to win prizes by guessing the closest correct retail price of merchandise they were shown, in competition with three other contestants.


The New Price is Right (as it was first called when it was revived with Bob Barker in 1972) was an immediate hit. Dennis James hosted the nighttime version that also started in 1972.

In 1975, The Price Is Right became the first hour-long game show when a special week of one-hour episodes was aired. CBS discovered the show achieved even better ratings during the second half-hour, so in November 1975 the change was made permanent.

Universally tied to product-placement, both major (the new model of a car, no matter what the brand, was always a crowd pleaser) and minor (each food or cleaning product was identified and advertised), The Price I Right was, perhaps, the most-adored long-running advertising franchise on TV.

priceisright22Leslie Crowther (pictured) was the mahogany-haired host of the British version of the show, which aired between 1984 and 1988.

On one episode, a man from Brixton won a holiday for two, making a girl from Liverpool the loser. The winner stunned everyone by promptly asking her to go along on the holiday.

Bruce Forsyth revived the format as Bruce’s Price is Right  in the 1990’s, presenting a half hour show instead of an hour.

As with other game shows, the prizes were frequently comically inappropriate: An apartment-dweller winning a set of garden furniture and a little old lady, a windsurfer.

Australian versions of the show have surfaced from time to time, most famously hosted by Ian Turpie (1981 to 1986 and 1989) and Larry Emdur (1993 to 1998 and 2003 to 2005).

Bill Cullen (USA)
Tom Kennedy (USA)
Dennis James (USA)
Bob Barker (USA)
Doug Davidson (USA)
Leslie Crowther (UK)
Bruce Forsyth (UK)
Ian Turpie (Australia)
Larry Emdur (Australia)