The Price is Right will be the latest game show to return to television after abruptly stopping production in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune earlier this year, The Price is Right will return with some changes to protect the people involved with the show. Host Drew Carey shared his thoughts on the changes coming to the new episodes, ranging from production to his facial hair.
The most obvious change for new episodes of The Price is Right is that the studio, which is usually jam-packed with fans trying to get noticed for the chance to win some prizes, won’t have an audience, but there will be more subtle differences as well. Drew Carey spoke with CBS This Morning about the return of The Price is Right, and he commented on his new pandemic facial hair:
To be honest, a lot of this stuff about COVID, if you haven't been sick, it's kind of been a little bit of a blessing in disguise to be shut down so much. Because I had a lot of time for introspection. A lot of spiritual growth this summer. Part of me wanted to reflect it with a different look. So let me just grow a beard and see what it looks like. And then I liked it when it came out and I kept it.
Drew Carey is back in front of the cameras of The Price is Right with a full beard and no tie! The lack of a tie probably won’t leave too many longtime fans in shock, but the beard is definitely a new look for the host. Considering how many TV personalities returned to the airwaves with quarantine haircuts (including The Masked Singer’s Robin Thicke), I’d say that Carey looks pretty snazzy on the whole.
Of course, one of the iconic elements of The Price is Right is announcer George Gray saying “Come on down!” to contestants in the audience, and that obviously can’t happen without an actual studio audience. The good news for longtime fans is that the show found a way to keep the line in. Drew Carey explained:
I haven't been backstage to look but I've been told about it. They unhook their ears and they hold their mask over their face. And if they hear their name, they throw the mask down and run out. So they're just as surprised.
The reactions from the contestants will still be part of The Price is Right; they just won’t be running down from the audience to start the game. The absence of an audience also isn’t the only practical change coming to the show in its return.
Social distancing will be in place, and crew members will wear masks and work in zones. Cleaning and testing will happen regularly, including the wheel being sanitized between spins. Also, physical contact between Drew Carey and the players is off-limits. Drew Carey, who has been nearly pulled off the stage by a fan in the past, shared:
Nobody's picking me up and swirling me around. But I liked, you know, high five-ing people, and I liked hugs and, like-- you know, none of that anymore, man.
Contestants will just have to vent their excitement in ways that don’t involve physical contact with Drew Carey! The Price is Right is returning in grand fashion, with a series of three upcoming primetime specials. The first airs on Tuesday, October 27 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.