Big Changes Coming to ‘The Price Is Right’

by | July 24, 2010 at 2:53 PM | TV News

'Price Is Right' Announcer Rich Fields (Photo: CBS)

'Price Is Right' Announcer Rich Fields (Photo: CBS)

The long-running game show ‘The Price Is Right‘ is looking to reinvent itself once again as it enters its 39th season.

Changes are in store, and the first one to pay the price is the man behind the microphone: announcer Rich Fields, who has uttered the phrase “Come on Down!” since 2004, will not be returning to the show.

Producers plan to replace Fields with an improv comic and will be holding on-air auditions to fill the announcer position.

According to a message to fans Fields wrote on his blog, producers want to take the show in a new direction.

Fields made a point to say that host Drew Carey had nothing to do with his departure. “Drew has been my biggest champion,” Fields wrote.

Executive producer Mike Richards wants to add more “house bands” and “live performers,” according to Fields, with the intent to make the show more of a “variety show within a game show.” “He believes that having a comedian at the announcer’s position from now on will enhance this new change in direction,” Fields added.

But don’t expect loyalists to embrace this format tweak anytime soon.

“The hardcore fans won’t be happy because many have an axe to grind,” BuzzerBlog’s Alex Davis tells TV Squad. “Those hardcore fans won’t be happy with anything unless they go back to the way it was 20-25 years ago.”

One of the changes fans should like is the introduction of a new game called ‘Pay the Rent.’ Debuting this fall, the game offers a top prize of $100,000, said to be about four times the value of a typical showcase package.

Do you care if ‘The Price Is Right’ plays fewer games and adds more ‘variety’?