The search for the man to replace Bob Barker on “The Price is Right” has narrowed to two candidates, according to the New York Post.
Actor George Hamilton, the oldest (and one of the oddest) candidate in the most recently-mentioned group of three names is apparently out of the running for the $3 million-a-year job, leaving Todd Netwon and Mark Steines as the primary candidates.
Todd Newton, who has hosted live versions of the show on stage in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, has long been my first choice to take over the reigns at the show.
There will never be another Bob Barker, and I doubt we’ll see another performer manage 35 years hosting a game show and racking up as many Emmy Awards as he has.
Newton, who also hosted “Whammy: The All New Press Your Luck” on GSN, beat out original “Press Your Luck” host Peter Tomarken for the remake. He has hosted game shows for several years. His first was “Hollywood Showdown” in 1999.
It is interesting to note that while Barker’s offscreen cause was animal rights, leading him to remind viewers each day to have their pets spayed or neutered, Newton’s cause is global warming.
According to his website, he recently completed an intensive course with Al Gore about the problem and techniques to reduce greenhouse gasses.
If he does get the job, I wonder how he’ll tag out each show.
The other candidate, Mark Steines, is known to fans of the celebrity gossip show, “Entertainment Tonight” as one of its co-hosts. Years ago — many years ago — ‘ET,’ as it likes to call itself, was a decent, watchable show. Okay, it was watchable if you wanted to know the behind-the-scenes goings-on in television and movies. Those days are long gone. Today’s “Entertainment Tonight” is a fast-paced, tease-heavy gossip rag that often offers more speculation and innuendo than fact.
But I can’t blame Steines for that; this was already well underway when he joined the show in 1995.
He has also acted in a few roles, often as a reporter or anchorman.
A former boss of mine met him during a personal appearance, said he is super-nice and looks like Tom Cruise in person. Movie-star looks, I’m sure, won’t hurt his chances.
But in all honesty, I have reached a point at which I am over it all.
As far as I’m concerned, they could just flip a coin and pick the winner that way. As long as they just pick a winner and get on with it.
The only thing this prolonged search for a new host should have proven conclusively to everyone by now is that Barker wasn’t “pushed out” of the hosting gig: you don’t push out a popular host getting the ratings he got for so long with no one in mind.
Barker hit the traditional retirement age back in 1988. It is hard for me to believe that they haven’t had a plan of succession in place for several years now. Even so, Barker announced that he was hanging up the microphone back in October, which means that they’ve had more than eight months to find someone to come through the big doors next.
I guess I should be happy that they are trying to be careful about picking just the right person for the job; I just think it shouldn’t be taking this long.