The Price Is Right is back up and running after halting in March due to coronavirus. The Fremantle-produced CBS show will resume production later today, according to a report via Deadline. The set has been redesigned to be COVID-friendly, and all 77 activities will resume with new social distance protocols in place. Perhaps the biggest change of all is for the first time in The Price Is Right history, the show’s lively audience will not be present.
Showrunner and executive producer Evelyn Warfel shared with Deadline the challenges of creating a safe filming environment. “We quickly realized we were not going to be able to have 300 people on the show sitting close together,” she said. “That was the hardest part of all of this; the audience is such a core part of that show, and so, for the first time in 48 years we’ve had to look at it and go okay, we’re bringing the show back and it’s going to be different.”
Quite a few sports games and talk shows have moved forward with virtual audiences, but this proves to be problematic with a game show like The Price Is Right. If audience members have access to a computer or smart phone, they could easily be looking up the actual prices of the items on screen.
Season 49 will see several major differences, but there’s one iconic element to the show that will not change: Contestants will still be able to physically spin the wheel during the Showcase Showdown. “They’re able to all touch the wheel,” Warfel shared. “They just have to sanitize their hands first, and then after that, the first wheel spin, the wheel will be sanitized for the next wheel spin.” At least we have that.
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