The Price Is Right (partially lost Dennis James episodes of game show; 1972-1977)
The Price Is Right has had three syndicated versions produced and aired between 1972 and 1995. The first version premiered six days after the CBS version and was hosted by Dennis James instead of Bob Barker and would be replaced by Barker in 1977 and Tom Kennedy hosted it from 1985 to 1986 with Doug Davidson hosting the last one that ran from 1994 to 1995. While episodes with Barker, Kennedy and Davidson survive and can be viewed today, James' episodes are pretty hard to come by.
One incident some fans say marked the downfall of his time hosting the show. It occurred during a late-1976 playing of Cliffhangers and James called the mountain climber on the game Fritz. Janice Pennington's (the model who was present at the game) husband was German mountain climber Friedrich "Fritz" Stammberger who disappeared while mountain climbing in Afghanistan in 1975. When James said "There goes Fritz!" and Pennington (who was still grieving from her husband's disappearance) ran backstage and cried for the rest of the taping. James had been unaware of Pennington's heart break and for a long time it was believed to be the reason he was replaced with Barker in 1977 when the real reason was his five year contract hosting the show ended.
James' episodes have never been seen since 1977, largely due to the fact that the prizes were fur coats and Barker (a notable animal rights activist) disapproved of this. Some of James' episodes have surfaced via private collectors, James' own recordings of the episodes and even audio of some episodes have surfaced online. Fremantle (the rights holders of the show) have been known to archive the entire show since it's 1972 premiere and it's syndication incarnations (except the 1994 version is owned by Paramount) but it's unknown if they hold James' episodes. His run has been mostly forgotten by fans of the show and it's very unlikely that all the episodes will ever surface.
On December 24, 2020, Facebook user "Andrew Mora" who is also a member of the Facebook group "Classic 'The Price is Right' Lovers" posted all the recording dates for the entire 1970's syndicated series. James' first taped episode was August 27, 1972 and his final taped episode was on March 1, 1977. Most of the airdates are still unknown.
- The Price is Right Wiki page on Dennis James. Retrieved 03 Dec '20
- Dennis James YouTube channel. Retrieved 03 Dec '20
- "Janice Pennington and Fritz Stammberger pt. 1". Retrieved 03 Dec '20
- "Janice Pennington and Fritz Stammberger pt. 2". Retrieved 03 Dec '20
- Forum thread discussing the Dennis James episodes. Retrieved 03 Dec '20
- Audio from most of the Dennis James episodes. Retrieved 03 Dec '20