Drew Carey, come on down!
The portly comic will replace retired Bob Barker as the host of "The Price Is Right," Carey revealed Monday on CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman."
"It's a done deal. I'm the new host," Carey told Letterman. A pact apparently was finalized just minutes before the afternoon "Letterman" taping.
Carey, 49, is no stranger to game-show formats. He'll host CBS' "Power of 10," premiering Aug. 7, and served as the ringmaster of improv contest "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" He also starred in an ABC sitcom from 1995-2004.
Carey, who could not be reached for comment, told Letterman that network officials approached him after seeing his performance on the "10" pilot. Carey says he initially rejected CBS' offer, apparently over salary and taping schedule. "So I met with them and stuff and we've been negotiating ever since," Carey said.
But Carey relished the prospect of hosting "The Price Is Right" when he appeared Thursday to promote "10" at the TV Critics Press Tour. "I would really enjoy it," he said. "I wouldn't consider it to be work. All they keep doing is giving away prizes, and it's not even my money."
CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler says Carey "is incredibly smart, he's fast on his feet, his facility with improv is extraordinary, but also he's a man of the people. Much of what "The Price Is Right" is about is establishing a rapport with contestants. When they come up there, they really (will) feel he's rooting for them. Plus he's funny."
Tassler credits CBS chief Leslie Moonves with the idea of hiring Carey. As president of Warner Bros. Television, Moonves worked with Carey on the "Drew Carey Show" sitcom.
CBS says Carey's "Price" shows will begin airing this fall, but it's unclear when. Asked by Letterman when his gig would begin, Carey said, "You got me. ... All I know is that all the deal points we wanted got settled.
"It's fun doing a show for years and years, isn't it?" he asked Letterman.
CBS confirmed that Carey will host both "10" in New York and "Price" in L.A. Carey, an avid fan of the L.A. Galaxy soccer team and new star David Beckham, will arrange his taping schedule so he can attend games. Game shows typically tape multiple episodes in short bursts.
The former stand-up comedian topped several prospective candidates, including Rosie O'Donnell —Barker's preferred replacement — who recently quit as co-host of ABC's "The View." But despite lobbying publicly for the job, "Rosie was never offered the show," Tassler says.
Barker retired June 15 after hosting "Price" for 35 years.