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April 7, 2014

Drew Carey makes 'The Price Is Right' his own

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There's so much noise during an episode of "The Price Is Right" that producers of the soap opera "The Bold and the Beautiful," which is taping nearby, need to be aware of the game show's schedule so the rowdiness doesn't disrupt the filming of a love scene.

It's a party in the hands of host Drew Carey, even as the concept hasn't changed through the years — make the best guess on how much that new car, entertainment center or trip to Paris costs and you just may win it. On Monday, the game show's 8,000th episode since its CBS debut in 1972 aired. Nearly 70,000 people have "come on down."

The game has a blue collar sensibility that the Cleveland-bred Carey reflects. That car or patio set, just the chance someone will take it home, creates a palpable excitement.

"All through my 20s I was broke," Carey said backstage before a recent taping. "I didn't start making money until I was in my 30s doing stand-up. I really don't take money for granted. I have a lot of empathy for people on the show, that's what I mean. I know what it must mean for them to win $5,000, which doesn't seem like a lot of money to give away on a game show nowadays. But it's a lot of money."

As he approaches his seventh year on "The Price Is Right," Carey has made the show his own. That wasn't always the case, since he had the daunting task of replacing 35-year host Bob Barker.

"At the time, nobody could conceive of the show without Bob Barker," said executive producer Mike Richards, "including me."

Richards unsuccessfully auditioned to replace Barker. A year into Carey's tenure, he was brought in as producer with a mandate: change it from Carey doing Barker's show to Carey doing Carey's show.

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