Mark you calendars and set your DVRs for the second week of December! CBS has announced a special run of "The Price is Right" honoring original host Bob Barker on his 90th birthday and celebrating his commitment to animal activism.
"We've had Bob on just one other time since Drew Carey took over the show," says executive producer Mike Richards. "It was when Bob's book, 'Priceless Memories,' came out and it was a priceless moment for fans. I was looking for the perfect reason to bring Bob back again, and this TV legend turning 90 is the perfect reason."
Each day, current host Drew Carey and "The Price is Right" team will spotlight animals up for adoption — a cause near and dear to Barker's heart and a staple of the program prior to his retirement in 2007. On his birthday, Dec. 12, Barker will make an appearance on the prize show and present a special showcase.
Such a return to a program he hosted for more than 35 years comes as welcome news, especially after CBS declined to invite him back last year for the show's 40th anniversary special. In an interview, Barker theorized that producers omitted his participation "because I have been critical of them for giving away prizes that I consider inappropriate." A passionate animal activist, Barker in particular has slammed "The Price is Right" for offering prizes related to SeaWorld and The Calgary Stampede.
"They wouldn't have even considered it when I was there," Barker told MNN. "I had them take fur coats off the show. Game shows all gave away fur coats back then, but I don't think any game show gives away fur coats now. We didn't give away leather, that sort of thing. We didn't do anything that was harmful to animals."
While he wasn't pleased with how the producers ignored his complaints, he had nothing but kind words to say about his successor, Drew Carey.
"Let me say this about Drew: I know Drew has an interest in animal welfare," Barker shared with MNN. "When I first met him, the first thing he said to me was, 'Bob, I'm going to keep doing the spay-and-neuter thing.' And he has. This never would have been brought to me as a prize — people knew better. But Drew, I don't know if he could have stopped them from doing this, or if he even knew about this rodeo."
Either way, it's good to see that some past grievances are apparently water under the bridge. Look for the special "Price is Right" honoring Barker to air on Dec. 9-13.
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