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Thursday June 7, 2007 9:00 am

Barker’s Last Sign-Off

Posted by K.C. Morgan Categories: Daytime, Games, Reality, CBS, Talent, Ratings, Rumors,

Bob Barker Well, it’s over. This week, Bob Barker taped his very last episode of the CBS daytime hit The Price is Right. The bittersweet final episode will air on June 15, the last chance for fans to view Barker in all his hosting glory. Five decades, and no more daytime TV for Bob Barker. For the last thirty-five years, Barker has been a mainstay of both CBS and The Price is Right. But, the original Price didn’t start out with either Barker or the strength of CBS behind it. The show originally ran for eleven years (1956 to 1965) on NBC and ABC and was hosted by longtime TV personality Bob Cullen. It wasn’t until September 1972 that Price premiered on CBS, this time with Barker at the helm. Barker was already well-known on TV at the time as the host of popular game show Truth or Consequences (which gained such a big following, a town in New Mexico is named after it). The show ran from 1956 to 1975, but Barker found truly lasting fame with his coveted Price is Right gig. For as long as the show has been on CBS (and it’s the second-longest running game show in television history, being beat out by a Spanish show that does not run in the States), Bob Barker has been there. Until, of course, June 15, when TV viewing audiences will witness Barker’s last sign off.

Read More | E! Online

For Barker’s last day, fans lined up for hours hoping to get a glimpse of the famous host as he moved into the studio. Amid showers of confetti and a standing ovation, Barker made his way into the Price building one last time. During commercial breaks, Barker answered questions from the studio audience and signed off with his usual line, “help control the pet population, have your pets spayed or neutered. Good-bye, everybody.” Barker, a vegetarian, has been a long time animal rights activist.

In thirty-five years on the set, Barker has missed only three episodes. Today, his silver hair is a trademark, but Barker created a bit of controversy when he allowed his hair to go natural decades ago. Fans were shocked, but today the Barker visage wouldn’t be the same without the silver hues up top. The host says his future plans include sleeping in late and playing golf the remainder of the day. Not a bad way to spend a retirement, after fifty years of applauding fans, standing ovations, and happy winners.

Barker’s final episode will air next week, and CBS is still hush-hush on who they will get to fill the formidable shoes. Rumor suggests that Mark Steines (of Entertainment Tonight), George Hamilton (the actor), John O’Hurley (who already hosts the Family Feud and is absolutely no good at it), and Todd Newton (of E!) are currently in the running to host the show.

Many fans believe that without Bob, the show can’t go on, but CBS is definitely going to give it their best shot. Once the most-watched network in the States, CBS is having enough ratings trouble already – the last thing they need is a huge daytime programming gap after three and a half decades of steady success in the time slot.

Once the cameras stopped rolling on Bob’s final day of filming, Barker addressed the throng that gathered to witness his last episode. He eloquently thanked the crowed and bid them good-bye, saying he is “truly grateful” to have been with audiences for fifty years.

No, Mr. Barker, we are.

Be sure to check out our top five Price is RIght games here on TV Envy.



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