Drew Carey, Come On Down!

By Lisa de Moraes
Tuesday, July 24, 2007

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., July 23

Four days after comic Drew Carey tipped off a couple hundred critics that CBS was crossing t's and dotting i's on a deal for him to host its daytime game show "The Price Is Right," the network made it official.

Carey confirmed his new gig for the TV audience at large during Monday's taping of David Letterman's CBS late-night show.

"I realize what a big responsibility this is," Carey said at that taping, the Associated Press reported.

"It's only a game show, but it's the longest-running game show in American television and I plan to keep it that way."

Carey's selection attracted more attention than usual for a daytime show because retiring "Price Is Right" host Bob Barker had spent 35 years on the job, leaving last month at age 83 after taping his 6,586th episode.

Among those interested in the gig was Rosie O'Donnell.

Carey, who's just 49, spent a decade on his own ABC sitcom and also was host of the improv game show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

Appearing last Thursday at Summer TV Press Tour 2007 here, Carey told TV critics CBS approached him about replacing Barker after seeing Carey host the network's "The Power of 10," a prime-time game show that debuts in August.

At that Q&A session, Carey said he only watched "Price" "once in a while." But he added, "I think it would be really fun to do . . . as long as Bob Barker said, 'Hey, this is cool.' As long as he was happy about it, then I think the fans of the show would be happy. . . . I wouldn't have gone into negotiations with them if I didn't think I would be good at it and really enjoy it."

The gig, Carey said, "fit my protocol or my principles: fun, easy to do, not work. I wouldn't consider doing 'Price Is Right' work at all. It would be . . . so enjoyable to be in front of that audience with people screaming and all I'm doing is giving away prizes. And it's not even my money. You know, it's like Oprah giving away those cars."

"The Price Is Right," Carey told critics, is "a daytime game show, but that show needs to be treated with a lot of respect."

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