How 'The Price Is Right' Motivates Its Kids Week Contestants
Kids Week proved so popular when it debuted on The Price Is Right last year that TV's longest-running game show is bringing it back!
Starting Monday, kids from preschool through college will come on down to meet host Drew Carey (above, with father and son contestants Wilson and Darwyn Mendez), make their bids and play games like Plinko and Cliff Hangers.
As he begins his tenth season (and TPiR's 45th!) as host, Carey says 'Everything in my lie has prepared me' for the job.
Exec producer Mike Richards, who tried out the original concept on his then-10-year-old son ("I had him come in and see if he could get the wheel to go all the way around, and he could"), previews Round 2, free of charge.
Richards admits he was worried some of the children could take losing hard, particularly preschoolers and elementary students, who are each accompanied by a decision-making adult. But, happily, no tears were shed.
An overeager contestant swept Carey off his feet this week; where does that rank among the show's most memorable moments?
"For sure, a couple of the preschool kids are disappointed their parents didn't win, and that's funny," he says. "Funny disappointment, not sad."
"The middle school kids are some of the best at bidding that we've seen, and I don't mean just in Kids Week," Richards says.
He credits their familiarity with online shopping, but adds that with prizes tailored to each age group, these players are motivated.
"If you're a high schooler, you want electronics. And so we went crazy with the latest video games, virtual reality bikes," he says. (Free books for a year are a prize on Friday’s college show: "It's like, 'What makes your life better?' Nobody really wants to spend money on books. I get it, I was in college.")
A Mini Model!
If the young helper in Monday's preschool episode looks familiar, that's because she's already logged plenty of camera time. It's Ruby, the 6-year-old daughter of Rachel Reynolds, who started modeling on The Price Is Right in 2003.
"Ruby's been on the show since she was literally a baby in her mother's arms," Richards says. "Rachel actually worked with her [on] the gestures, and she's great."
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The Price Is Right, Monday, April 22, Check Local Listings, CBS