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Author Topic: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right  (Read 2285 times)

Jeremy Nelson

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This is either going to be really fun, crash and burn, or both.

Dennis James was nearly made the host of the daytime Price in 1972, but the job was given to Bob Barker. It made me wonder- would Price last as long or be a cultural phenomenon under anyone else? Letís say in an alternate timeline, Dennis James is made the host of both daytime and nighttime Price. What happens next in your alternate timeline?
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BrandonFG

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 04:56:08 PM »
Even though Bob was pretty generic the first couple years, I think Dennis was a little too "old guard" to make the show last into the present day, let alone the 1980s. When you look at G-T's other long-running shows that premiered in the early/mid-70s, the hosts added a little flair of their own. Even Allen Ludden injected a little more personality into the 70s versions of Password. The episodes I saw, Dennis ran the show like a traffic cop.

Keeping that in mind, I say the show lasts about as long as the nighttime version did, 1980 or so, at the latest. I can't see Dennis's style making it far into the new decade.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 05:15:53 PM by BrandonFG »
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TLEberle

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 05:10:10 PM »
I don't think it will crash/burn--the thread idea, I mean.

I think nighttime TPIR is tolerable because you're seeing Dennis James just once a week. I'm not sure I could take that much maladroit nervous energy every morning, five days a week. I have to suspend the disbelief that a brand new car or ten thousand dollars rests on the price of the Rice-a-Roni, and Dennis James just doesn't accomplish that for me.

If TPIR doesn't flame out at the end of the syndicated run I think they try to grab someone else--anyone else.
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Stackertosh

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 06:09:03 PM »
I think if Dennis hosted the Daytime show it would had the same run as the Night Time show and he would of been either replaced or the show would of been canceled and revived in the 80s. I can't see Dennis having the same reaction as Bob with the Yolanda moments or playing around with Johnny and the Models when they screw up.  Plus multiple people said Dennis was limited on knowing the pricing games.


RMF

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2019, 07:06:40 PM »
Some thoughts I have, involving potential changes:

1) To start with, I do not believe that it would crash and burn- given how quickly it went off the air, I doubt Concentration had that much left in the tank, and the use of Price as late-afternoon soap counter-programming likewise is effective in the short term.

2) The differences I see emerging start doing so during the 1975-1976 season, in two different regards: given James' limitations as a host, I suspect that the effort to expand Price to an hour bombs in the same way that it did for every other show that tried to do so during that period, and, faced with competition from Wheel, the ratings start to slip.

3) In our timeline, Wheel ultimately changed its time slot to get away from Price- in this set of circumstances, I don't think that NBC's program planners feel the need to move it, while Price may very well get shifted to the 10 AM slot to get away from Wheel (moving it back to the late afternoon is probably not an option, given both how well Match Game and Tattletales are doing and CBS's efforts to stay in Norman Lear's good graces).

4) In the short-run, Price is able to survive facing off against a declining Celebrity Sweepstakes and then Sanford and Son reruns.

5) Here is where another important issue hits with the timeline. In our timeline, Dennis James left Price at the end of taping for the 1976-1977 syndicated season. Here, there are two different issues at hand: When does Dennis James leave (presumably, based on my previous calculations, it doesn't really become an issue until late 1975/early 1976), and who replaces him (is it Barker stepping in a few years late, or is someone else entirely approached?)

At this point, it becomes really hard to predict- anything from the show ending its run at the hands of Card Sharks to it lingering into the late 1980s/early 1990s period when daytime television divested itself of game shows is a possibility, and a lot of it is dependent on factors that are now impossible to test (namely, how well various people would have fared as hosts, and how the audience would take to them).

Overall, it seems clear to me that it doesn't become the phenomenon it has in our timeline- but what it does become is an entirely different subject.

BrandonFG

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2019, 07:21:11 PM »
So piggybacking off of RMF's points, let's say James remains the host, and the show is canceled in 1979. The syndicated version still runs til 1980.

I'd guess that, like Feud and Match Game, TPiR comes back from time to time. Only three or four years separated the Feud revivals (canceled in 1985, returns in '88; canceled in '95, returns in '99*), so keeping that in mind, I'd guess the Tom Kennedy nighttime version premieres a year earlier, but with no daytime counterpart, it benefits from being able to air earlier and not face Wheel in many markets. It runs for a few years, and gets canceled as game show fever dies down around 1989. Now, whether they try again with the Doug Davidson version in '94 is another question.

However, like with MG/Feud, reruns air to this day on GSN/Buzzr, prompting another (primetime) revival. And this time, hiring a comedian like Drew Carey isn't nearly as controversial. :P

*/I keep forgetting it's aired for 20 consecutive years
//Really interesting that didn't do a "20th Anniversary" season graphic
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snowpeck

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2019, 09:21:00 PM »
5) Here is where another important issue hits with the timeline. In our timeline, Dennis James left Price at the end of taping for the 1976-1977 syndicated season. Here, there are two different issues at hand: When does Dennis James leave (presumably, based on my previous calculations, it doesn't really become an issue until late 1975/early 1976), and who replaces him (is it Barker stepping in a few years late, or is someone else entirely approached?)

Dennis didn't quit Price. His five-year contract was up, the show was moving to the CBS O&Os and Barker was available due to Truth or Consequences not being in production. The CBS O&Os insisted on Barker hosting. Had Barker not been available, Dennis would probably have continued as host.
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Steve Gavazzi

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2019, 10:19:31 PM »
I'm probably not the best person to take part in this discussion, but there's something I feel like I should throw into the mix:  If the show's not around in the early '80, does Plinko ever exist?

Neumms

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2019, 10:45:51 PM »
I'm probably not the best person to take part in this discussion, but there's something I feel like I should throw into the mix:  If the show's not around in the early '80, does Plinko ever exist?

Sure. It would have probably involved survey questions and Bob Eubanks, though.

Neumms

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2019, 10:49:18 PM »
I wonder if Dennis had started and they wanted to replace him, whom G-T may have looked at. Wink once Gambit was axed? Bert once Tattletales was cancelled? Bob Eubanks, whom Goodson liked and was available every couple of years?

And what if Barker had hosted Gambit, as he was considering because he feared replacing Cullen?

Jimmy Owen

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2019, 03:38:29 AM »
One thing for sure, someone else would have hosted daytime NTT.  Lasted about six months with Dennis and Tom. It was more successful with Tom at night.
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RMF

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2019, 05:55:00 AM »
Dennis didn't quit Price. His five-year contract was up, the show was moving to the CBS O&Os and Barker was available due to Truth or Consequences not being in production. The CBS O&Os insisted on Barker hosting. Had Barker not been available, Dennis would probably have continued as host.

Thanks for the correction.

If anything, it further complicates my point in 5)- if Dennis James continues to have no desire to leave (and, for the moment, I'll assume that that doesn't change), when would Goodson-Todman feel ready to apply the hook, and under what set of circumstances?

Jimmy Owen

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2019, 06:50:51 AM »
Dennis didn't quit Price. His five-year contract was up, the show was moving to the CBS O&Os and Barker was available due to Truth or Consequences not being in production. The CBS O&Os insisted on Barker hosting. Had Barker not been available, Dennis would probably have continued as host.

Thanks for the correction.

If anything, it further complicates my point in 5)- if Dennis James continues to have no desire to leave (and, for the moment, I'll assume that that doesn't change), when would Goodson-Todman feel ready to apply the hook, and under what set of circumstances?




If ratings went down, or if the O&O's went to strip programming.  NBC went with Feud in fall of 80, which killed a lot of slots for weeklys.
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aaron sica

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2019, 08:19:01 AM »
Dennis didn't quit Price. His five-year contract was up, the show was moving to the CBS O&Os and Barker was available due to Truth or Consequences not being in production. The CBS O&Os insisted on Barker hosting. Had Barker not been available, Dennis would probably have continued as host.

Coincidentally, I found an old TV listing from Arizona in 1977 where the James/Barker eps overlapped on two stations at the same time,  in the same week. One was showing James's last episode, and the other Barker's first episode.

As far as what the alterate timeline would be like.....It would have had a ripple effect on other shows. On my alternate timeline, Price is the one that ends on 4/20/79. The 10:30-11:30 (EST) timeslot that Price left behind gets filled by Whew! at 10:30, and M*A*S*H reruns move from the 3:30 slot to 11:00. Match Game finally gets its 3:30 timeslot back (CBS gives 4pm back to the affiliates), the ratings recover, and it stays on well into the '80s at that timeslot at which point it's sacrificed for Young and the Restless's expansion to an hour.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2019, 02:24:46 PM by aaron sica »

Jimmy Owen

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2019, 09:17:45 AM »
Dennis didn't quit Price. His five-year contract was up, the show was moving to the CBS O&Os and Barker was available due to Truth or Consequences not being in production. The CBS O&Os insisted on Barker hosting. Had Barker not been available, Dennis would probably have continued as host.

Coincidentally, I found an old TV listing from Arizona in 1977 where the James/Barker eps overlapped on two stations at the same time,  in the same week. One was showing James's last episode, and the other Barker's first episode.

As far as what the alterate timeline would be like.....It would have had a ripple effect on other shows. On my alternate timeline, Price is the one that ends on 4/20/79. The 10:30-11:30 (EST) timeslot that Price left behind gets filled by Whew! at 10:30, and M*A*S*H reruns move from the 3:30 slot to 11:00. Match Game finally gets its 3:30 timeslot back, the ratings recover, and it stays on well into the '80s at that timeslot at which point it's sacrificed for Young and the Restless's expansion to an hour.
Would Viacom have expanded Price into a strip in fall 79?
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