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'The Price Is Right': EP Mike Richards talks Bob Barker's return to show

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Legendary game show host, Bob Barker, returns to ‘The Price is Right” this week to celebrate his 90th birthday with a special week of shows centering on Pet Adoption. Each day from Monday, December 9 through Friday, December 13, the show will feature a pet up for adoption in honor of the Emmy- winning Barker, who has supported the cause for many years on the show and has continued to champion it since leaving the show in 2007. On December 12, Barker’s 90th birthday, the man himself will surprise the studio audience with a rare appearance and present a special showcase.

Daytime TV Examiner, caught up with “The Price Is Right’s” executive producer Mike Richards at the taping to find out how Bob’s appearance came about and what advise the host gave him about the show. Check out the interview below:

Phyllis: You have a special theme of shows this week in honor of Bob. How did you put together this historic appearance?

Mike Richards: About a year ago he turned 89 and I said “He's going to turn 90 next year. Let's throw a party for him.” We know that pet adoption is very near and dear to his heart, so we decided to do a week of pet adoptions like he used to do on Tuesdays. He’d to bring a pet on the show and say “please adopt it.” So we're doing it every day this week and then the one on Thursday [December 12th] that is his actual birthday, its Bob bringing out the dog and doing the pet adoption.

Phyllis: The audience reaction must have been great. How did you keep [Bob’s appearance] a secret?

Mike Richards: I think it leaked a little bit to be honest there were a lot of people with “Happy Birthday, Bob” T- shirts on in the audience (laughs). It was the best kept secret in show business. I got to see him before the show but when he came out, when you see the doors open and see that iconic… that legend of television…to see him there, it’s impossible to not get excited.

Phyllis: Do you know if he's watching the show and if he is, did he you give you any tips?

Mike Richards: Listen, I would love to get some tips from him. He knows a thing or two. But you know what he did say which I thought was.... that I really appreciated was, he loved what we’ve done with the set. We've gone through every inch of the set and every piece is different than when he was here. But it still feels like “The Price Is Right.” He complimented that a couple of times and that meant a lot to me because whenever you change something here, it’s like “Oh God! Did I just break it? Is it broken? No, we're fine.” So that was great that he liked the way it looks and feels and everything. And I do know he was watching it because he said the place looks great and it looks great on TV and I was “Aha! You're watching…so that was great.”

Catch Bob Barker’s return to “The Price Is Right” on Thursday, December 12th on CBS.

To read more articles with actors from your favorite shows and movies, check out my pages at Daytime TV Examiner, Classic TV Examiner and Animation Examiner. Also, follow me on Twitter at @Phyllis_Thomas

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