Why Rosie Wasn’t Right For 'Price' … And Who Is
July 14, 2007 11:26 PM
At the GSN pool party, “The Price Is Right” announcer Rich Fields confirmed Rosie O’Donnell didn’t get the “Right” hosting job because she demanded radical changes to the show.
Media outlets first reported that O’Donnell and CBS couldn’t come to terms partly because the former talk show host wanted to move the veteran game show production from Los Angeles to New York City. Then O’Donnell admitted in an interview this week that CBS didn’t want her because she said she wanted to “gay up” the show with a chorus line of male dancers replacing Barker’s Beauties.
But Fields claimed O’Donnell also wanted to reduce the number of games per show from six to four and spend more time chatting with contestants, which would have slowed the pace of the show.
“CBS met with her for one lunch, she wanted to make all those changes, and that was all they needed to hear,” he said.
Industry sources said “Entertainment Tonight” co-anchor Mark Steines, reality host Mark Walberg, GSN game show host Todd Newton and actor Drew Carey are still in the mix for the “Price” gig. CBS went after Ryan Seacrest, sources said, but his price tag was too high. Carey is also asking for a higher rate than CBS wants to pay at the moment, but the network is still interested in him. Steines doesn’t have any game show experience, but tested really well. A couple sources claim (and others deny) that Steines was verbally offerred the gig before Rosie unexpectedly threw her hat in the ring. At any rate, he’s still considered a leading contender. Fields said George Hamilton also tested for the job and was very personable and smooth, except he relied too heavily on cue cards and couldn’t keep the games straight.
At any rate, the show needs to find a new host very soon. “Price” usually ramps up production by mid-July for its fall season. The new host needs to run through a couple weeks of practice shows to become familiar with the 77 “Price” games before shooting the premiere, which needs to be completed by mid-August. Staffers are being told to expect to return to work by the end of the month, suggesting producers and the network are near a decision. CBS declined to comment.