Friday, July 4, 2008

Report: "Price is Right" producer fired

If you have visited my MySpace page or Facebook profile, you would notice that my favorite game show is The Price is Right. If you watch Price, you usually see Drew Carey and the models and hear the voice of Rich Fields announcing the prizes. However, there are people behind the scenes that also make Price tick.

One of those was Roger Dobkowitz. According to the fan site, Dobkowitz was fired by Fremantle Media, the company that essentially runs Price (as well as ratings king American Idol). According to site administrator Marc, "The show that I have spent nearly my entire life watching and enjoying isn't as enjoyable to me these days, and my fear is that this "new direction" will only put the show in an unrecognizable state. I grew up watching Bob Barker -- he's gone. John (a site moderator) and I developed a great friendship with the man behind so much of the show's success and creativity -- now he's gone. The pillars supporting the reasons why I decided to build & continue maintaining this site are no longer in place."

In my view, this is beyond shocking. I do not know the real reason why Roger was fired, but this will be the beginning of a new chapter for Price. Your thoughts???

UPDATE on Sunday at 6:02pm ET: I sent an email yesterday (Saturday) to powerhouse CBS affiliate WKYT in Lexington asking if they had heard about the rumored changes. I will post quotes from their response when I get one. In addition, Carrie Grosvenor stated today on her game show blog that she doesn't "see any drastic changes forthcoming,'s important to understand that, while we have no concrete information on what's to come, there's no reason to freak out and assume the worst." We have yet to hear the last of this developing story.

UPDATE on Sunday at 6:32pm ET: moderator John posted the latest news on the saga. Here are the most significant developments since the firing:

"What we know: Kathy Greco has assumed the role of Producer, with Stan Blits, Sue MacIntye, and Adam Sandler assisting for the time being with the tasks assigned to Roger. We do know that a number of changes have been discussed, several of which have appeared in discussions on [] this weekend. The fact is, honestly, that we have no facts at this time. (emphasis mine) The comments on other various websites and on previous threads here about "calming down" are to be recognized, but also understand that changes are forthcoming. We can also confirm that a new pricing game is scheduled to premiere in the first week of the new Season, we know that the show is going to be broadcast in High Definition, and we know that the show will be integrating a video wall as needed. This new pricing game will be the final game created by our friend Roger in his 36 year term with the show."

UPDATE on Tuesday at 8:49am: has more info about the departure of Dobkowitz:

"Roger Dobkowitz, veteran executive producer of The Price Is Right, will not return to the series next season amid reports of possible format changes ahead...The change comes amid mixed performances during Drew Carey's first year as host of Price. The 36-year-old game has lost 18 percent of its audience in daytime year-to-year over Bob Barker's final season. However, the nighttime Price Is Right Million $ Spectacular won its time slot every week during its Friday night airings in the late winter and early spring. Price has been holding its own in weekly repeats of the evening specials in a Wednesday-at-8 time slot. The vulnerability for Price now comes from ratings reports of the last two months. TPIR is now losing not just 18-49 age demos but overall total viewers to The View on ABC on an average of two days per week. A number of media analysts are chalking up the audience slippage to a combination of Barker's retirement, Carey's below par performance as host and the show's age.

"One source close to the show has told a replacement for Dobkowitz may not come from within the existing staff. The general perception inside the show is that major changes to Price may be in the offing that could resemble international versions of the game. The source said FremantleMedia is expected to seek a producer who can both "contemporize the show and make it more compatible with Drew's talents." While reviews of Carey's performance have been decidedly mixed, no indication exists that CBS would consider buying up the remaining two years on the comedian's contract. Though overall ratings are slipping, Price still maintains a strong lead-in for CBS affiliate local midday newscasts along the Eastern Seaboard."

I will say this: WKYT's 27 NewsFirst at Noon has been the number one noon news for about three decades or so. If "Price" continues its ratings slide, NewsFirst would lose more viewers to LEX 18 News and Action News 36. We will see come this fall when the new season of "Price" begins.


  1. I'm hearing rumors of some massive changes to the show, and if it's true it will spell the demise of TPIR. The beauty of the show was the fact that it really has been the same for 36 years.

  2. don't know william i watch price is right from time to time. I hope the program doesn't chance to much.