09 July 2008

TPiR travails

Heard the unfortunate news today that the illustrious Roger Dobkowitz, longtime TPiR producer and the last production staff member who has been there since Day 1, has been terminated by FremantleMedia. The stated reason is that the production company wants to take the show in "a new direction."

Sad to hear this, but it does not surprise me as it regrettably continues the once-proud game show's downward spiral. TPiR has become a grotesque parody of its former self since Bob Barker retired. The sickeningly garish design of the revamped sets, combined with erstwhile "star" Carey's almost flippant approach to hosting, has damaged the show beyond all salvation in my opinion. (I understand that Drew is a nice person, but when it comes to the role of emcee he is certainly no Bob.)

I suppose with Bob as executive producer, he was able to keep the format and sets relatively constant and static for many years, retaining the classic feel which was so essential to its success; but with his departure it seems to be Katie bar the door when it comes to tinkering with the program by its current producers.

I hear they want to add a video wall now.  New Price is Right, here we come?

"A new direction" is the last thing the show needs. I understand TPiR needs to stay competitive to survive in the increasingly harsh TV jungle, but part - nay, much - of the charm was the deliberate old-school look and feel of the program. In this day when "retro-chic" is "in", why oh why does FreDismantle feel the need to 'modernize' things?

But ya know, in reality perhaps changes are needed if TPiR is to survive many more years. Modern TV viewers are so insipid and empty headed, they will go for anything "modern" and flashy over the tried and true charm of traditional television programming.

But consider that viewership numbers for the current season (36), with all its change and revamps, are down 18 percent from Season 35. On some mornings, The View (of all trash) gets better ratings.

Think "change" will improve things now?

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