Third time’s a charm for game show Larry

By David Knox on May 7, 2012 / Filed Under News, Top Stories 17

“I suppose if you’re sitting in your lounge room watching Channel Seven you’re probably thinking ‘That Larry Emdur boy’s on a lot!’” laughs Larry Emdur.

He’s not wrong. As co-host of The Morning Show, Emdur is on air 13.5 hours a week. From today he adds another 2.5 hours as host of the rebooted game show The Price is Right.

Has he ever worked so much in his career?

“I feel incredibly lucky because everything they’re asking me to do, being The Morning Show and The Price is Right, I love, love to do. So I don’t feel like I’m working,” he says.

“I’m not sitting there slugging it out, I’m having a ball.

“I said to Seven ‘I’m happy to talk to you about The Price is Right but in no way, shape or form can it interfere with The Morning Show.’ I feel incredibly loyal to that show and love that show.

“But it’s a ten minute drive to the studio, and we do an afternoon and evening record and they’ve put in a nice lounge in my change room fo power naps. So they’ve made it very simple!”

Emdur previously hosted the game show from 2003 – 2005 and 1993 – 1998, both times on Nine. But he follows former host Ian Turpie and Garry Meadows in a trusty format that has also aired on both Seven and TEN.

Despite his other TV projects, it is Price which the audience still associates him most with.

“There’s been The Main Event, Cash Bonanza, and Wheel of Fortune even. But this one was a long time and very successful so I suppose people have fond memories of it,” he says.

“It’s been part of peoples’ lives at some point whether they were parents and are now grandparents or whether they were kids watching who have now grown up or they were at university watching it for pretty girls in bikinis. Everyone has a link to this old thing.

“I’m so proud to have been associated with such a pop culture icon.”

Price has always been an equal-opportunity game show, putting not just pretty girls in skimpy bikinis beside holiday prizes, but hunky men in speedos and overalls. The last season saw male model Frank Raco become the darling of housewives across Australia simply for standing beside a ski jet or lawn mower.

“Frank was outrageously popular,” laughs Emdur.

Rest assured there are male and female models once again, plus surprise celebrities and new voice-over guy, Brodie Young (Big Brother, Quizmania)

“Brodie is the new ‘Come on Down’ guy! He’s very good at it and he has lots of fun and it’s a very interactive role this time as per the French version. He’s all over the set, running up and down, involved in prizes, he jumps in a spa when he’s giving that away. He’s really doing great.”

So what is the secret to its success with middle Australia? The variety in its games? The fact that an audience member can win thousands of dollars in prizes simply by attending a record?

“With all successful game shows there has to be a playability so that if you’re sitting on your lounge you’re thinking ‘I can get into this.’ I think Price is globally recognised as being one of the leaders in that format,” Emdur explains.

“It’s a concept where you always feel you can do better than the person playing. Everyone is an expert until they’re on the set doing it.

“But it’s fun. If you’ve had a long, hard day, the news is coming up you can just relax with Price and Deal and just have fun.”

Emdur says the set for the new series is his favourite of them all. Modelled on the French version, it is deliberately glitzy. There are also new games: Check Out, Hi Low and Plinko.

“Plinko is a larger than life game where people have to walk up 20 stairs and drop these big coins. It’s very funny,” he says.

And the ever-popular Cliffhangers is back.

“When I first hinted on Twitter that this was coming back I must have got 200 tweets ‘is the yodeling guy coming back?’” he laughs.

“We’ve dropped the dog but he’s got a whole range of outfits now. He will change with the seasons because he has a summer outfit, a winter outfit, and Mardi Gras week we’ll dress him up. He’s like a Ken Doll now!”

Such is the enthusiasm for Price that a tweet Emdur sent out for audience members netted him 6,800 responses alone.

“It’s been overwhelming. It’s taken me totally by surprise, the amount of affection there is for this programme. Not me, but this programme and what it means to people. I hope it translates to ratings and success,” he says.

“I’ve been involved in launches for many, many show but I’ve never seen anything quite like this.”

If you are attending a shoot in Sydney, Emdur recommends the best way to be selected to appear as a contestant is to impress producers in the meet and greet screen test before the show. But be warned, you have limited time to prove you are lively and relaxed, without being fake.

“During that few seconds you have with a producer they’re looking for TV stars. I’ve always said the contestants are the stars, not the host or the games. So we’re looking for people who can carry it. That doesn’t need much. The producers will say ‘How are you today?’ and at that point you’ve got to say something fun or have a great T-shirt on or have a great story, because I’m relying on you very heavily for this show,” he says.

“During the show we’re watching as well. So if somebody is a stand out yelling and screaming during the game, we may think ‘That’s a character we’ve got to have on the show.’”

But nostalgia aside, Price is back for one reason alone: to lift Seven’s early evening audience in the run up to Seven News. Together with Deal or No Deal, Seven is looking for a game-show led recovery.

Emdur has been around long enough to know about the business in ‘show business’, but is optimistic he is up to the task.

“If we do our job which is to bring people in at 5:00 then everyone enjoys the fruits of that. So that would be a good thing across the network and deliver a better audience to Deal.

The Price is Right airs 5pm weeknights on Seven.

17 Comments »

  1. vos May 8, 2012 at 7:40 am -

    To #owlchic81

    Yes but shows like this they want to bring it back what it was like.. but now its obviously change and its not as good as what it originally was in the first place. So shows like this the price is right… the young talent time and so on will not last long. It easily becomes quite boring and the producers knows that so they give up because they try too hard.

    By the way (The price is right) yesturday too just 10minutes before it finished.. And i started to enjoy it very well. I like the graphics design everything looks perfect. BUT downside is that the studio looks smaller and very silent at times. Back then the price is right was more ambient more with lots of things around the studio.. Today the return of the show just seems alittle just like the rest of the shows such as youngt alent time and its a knock out because the studios or arena is not as big and ambient what it used to be.

    I believe the price is right would only last for 1 and a half year so expect to see the show to finish early in 2013. They have allready made reruns and recording episodes for each day. However it looks brilliant show. But again the negative side is the wining prices devices and apliance are low ends brands or at least items that you would mainly see from target/kmart.. just like lastnight they show a photo camera.. the brand sounded unknown and it sounded like a cheap ends meet brand camera.. I beleive shows like this should put the big premium brands how about the stuff that people look around.. Not items that comes from brands or electronics from kmart.. just shocking really. I personaly looking for a brand new canon 7D camera costing 2,000 bucks… how about advertice cameras like this.. not cameras that are as bad as a kmart cheapo phone or device from.

  2. Buzz3 May 8, 2012 at 5:46 am -

    Good to see Larry back to what he does best.The set did look cheap you can’t get away with it in this day and age.If it was back on Channel 9 it would look heaps better only because Channel 9 would still have all the original games and set sitting in storage lol.Just like in America where nothing seems to have changed at all

  3. Curt of Brisbane May 7, 2012 at 10:27 pm -

    Very disappointed with tonight’s show. The tribute to the late Ian Turpie was rushed and superficial, the set is cheap and squashed, the prizes are small and uninspiring especially the meagre showcase, the VoiceOver guy is nothing like John Deeks or Shawn Cosgrove, the decision to axe the price guessing game was plainly dumb. The timed showcase is hard to follow. Sorry Larry but unless changes are made, I can see the price is right heading for failure and I am a real of this show too. The timeslot does not fit either. I would have preferred watching repeats of Ian’s version than this!!!!!

  4. littletonpace May 7, 2012 at 10:01 pm -

    I loved it, so happy to have Larry back on Price :) He’s lost nothing; he’s just the same as he was :)

    My biggest issue was that they changed the yodel from the cliffhanger’s Cliff and that game looked really cheap, but I loved the fun of it all. I’ll still keep watching :)

  5. Tas Dev May 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm -

    ” the only prizes won on tonight’s first episode, a thermos, a kettle and an iron? They’ll have to do better than that to attract viewers”

    Are you serious? People don’t decide whether to watch a game show based on the value of the prizes given away. That’s ridiculous.

    I remember when Letters and Numbers first started people here said it would be boring because there were no real prizes. You have to be joking.

    It’s about the fun of it, not what they win.

  6. owlchic81 May 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm -

    I also expect the big ticket items to pop up eventually- some shows has teething problems .

  7. owlchic81 May 7, 2012 at 8:00 pm -

    Ones who didn’t win- Big W voucher, prizes won- outdoor setting .

  8. Bella May 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm -

    Oh good not just me who was missing the guessing game first up.

    I agree it did look a bit cheap and the studio set. Seeing the camera crews etc. Was just a bit odd. i guess if you want to go on its best to study the Big W catalogue.

  9. idiotbox May 7, 2012 at 7:15 pm -

    Correct me if I’m wrong (possibly I nodded off during it) but were the only prizes won on tonight’s first episode, a thermos, a kettle and an iron? They’ll have to do better than that to attract viewers. In it’s last incarnation, contestants not appearing on stage used to at least get a tshirt and a cap.
    I agree with roaringdave. It all looks a bit cheap and nasty. I too miss that guessing game that gets them up onto the main stage. At least that part of the show would give the players a chance to win something instead of walking away empty handed.
    Looks like the studio they’re filming it in is tiny too. The camera couldn’t get back far enough tonight to show the car in full view. It must have been a very cheap car too for the whole showcase to only be worth $25,000.
    I know TV budgets are under pressure these days but surely we can do better than this.

  10. davodavo6666 May 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm -

    Looks crap to me, the voice over guys not so good, wheres Shawn Cosgrove he made it great? I used to love the car flying in on the showcase, now we cross to a 30 second car commercial. Bring back the guessing game at the begining that was great filtering out the clueless. And why are the prizes from so crap? Big W? did thier first choice Crazy Clarks pull out? And finally has the value of the showcases gone backwards?

  11. SnideAsides May 7, 2012 at 6:08 pm -

    Temptation was the one nobody ever won – its odds were well over 100 to 1, even if one of the prices used only had two possible choices instead of three.

  12. roaringdave May 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm -

    It was awful. Where is the price guessing game that gets you onto the stage? That was always the best bit cause someone would undoubtedly price an egg beater at $699. It looks a lot cheaper than it did 20 years ago. How does that happen?

    @ deedeedragons : The woman on the first episode won Cliffhangers…haha…

  13. Mac May 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm -

    Just caught the last half and am impressed with the brush up!

  14. owlchic81 May 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm -

    @vos – The only problem It’s a Knock Out and Young Talent Time didn’t survive was that they didn’t have recognisable hosts, unlike Larry.

    And people did win on Cliff Hangers

  15. Lee-Roy May 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm -

    Wow, someone apart from me remembers The Main Event!

  16. vos May 7, 2012 at 10:36 am -

    Good to see a new game show made in australia. Thumps up but again dont expect this game to last anytime longer..

    Look what happen to its a knock-out so much participating wait and eager to see it but quickly the game became downside to low thier audience down.. So the show was as bad as anything goes..

    Youngt alentshow i again dont expect to see the show to run much longer… and this one that just been introduce? well unfortuanly they wont last longer.. soemtimes they are there for 3 months to about 1 year and then its over…..

    They wanna be back to the future to be exact what they where.. but they dont seem to archive it well.. Australian shows are not that revealant.. most people rather watch overseas shows.

  17. deedeedragons May 7, 2012 at 10:28 am -

    Glad it’s back. I always hated Cliffhangers. Nobody ever won at that.

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