One of the most significant changes involved the selection of contestants. Previously syndicated series begin similarly to the daytime version, with four contestants being called to Contestants' Row to compete in a One Bid with the winner playing a pricing game on stage. The (New) Price is Right conducted the proceedings differently. Each contestant called from the audience by Burton immediately to "COME ON DOWN!" came onstage to play a pricing game. Like in the other syndicated versions, only three pricing games were played per episode along with a modified version of the Showcase Showdown.
Some pricing games on The New Price is Right (not to be confused with the current version's original 1972 title) were played with slight modifications to the rules as played on the daytime version. Games which usually featured grocery products were played with unwinnable small prizes instead (e.g., Golden Road, Grand Game and Hole in One (or Two)), and some games featured other experimental rule changes.
- Barker's Markers: The name was changed to "Make Your Mark" the single time it was played on this version of the show, as Bob Barker was not the host of this version. This name was adopted on the daytime show in 2008 when Drew Carey became the host.
- Clock Game: The game was digitized, with no prop on stage for it, and the contestant was provided with a $1,000 range in which to guess the price of each prize. The game frequently used prizes with four-digit prices. On some occasions a third prize was awarded as a bonus for winning (a rule change which was adopted on the daytime version in 2009).
- Hole in One (or Two): Small prizes were used instead of grocery items. When an item was chosen, its price was immediately revealed and then placed in line if it was higher than the previous prize chosen. On the daytime version, the price flags are arranged in line according to the contestant's choice before the prices are revealed.
- Magic #: This used a Double Prices-like prop to hold the prices of the two prizes rather than the models hold them. The Magic Number set by the contestant playing was superimposed in between.
- Plinko: While the top prize remained the same at $5,000 per chip for a potential total of $25,000, two configurations of slots were utilized: one of $2500-$1000-0-$5000-0-$5000-0-$1000-$2500 (two $5000 slots, but THREE 0's, including the center as a 0 rather than $5000; this was only used on this version's first playing); the other of $2500-$500-$1000-0-$5000-0-$1000-$500-$2500 (essentially, the regular layout with the $100 slots upped to $2500; used for the second and all subsequent playings). The method of earning chips was also changed from choosing the right number in the right position to a higher/lower pricing format with smaller prizes worth up to $400.
- Punch-A-Bunch: During some playings, Davidson pulled the slip out of the hole as soon as it was punched. The player then decided to keep the money or punch another hole. On the daytime show, the slips are not revealed until the contestant has made all of his or her initial punches.
- Safe Crackers: Instead of having the secondary prize (the one in which its price doubles as the safe's combination) inside the safe with the main prize, the secondary prize was outside the safe and talked about after the model locked the door.
- Super Ball: Instead of waiting until guessing all three small prizes before rolling the balls, the player rolled after each correct guess.
- 3 Strikes: The first number was lit at the beginning of the game and the number could repeat elsewhere in the price. Four chips representing the remaining numbers in the price were then placed into the bag with three strike chips. These rules were adopted on the daytime show in 2008, but the game's original rules returned in 2009. Also, the super-imposed "NO" sign for misplaced numbers was replaced with a red box which appeared around the space where the contestant thought the number he/she pulled out belonged in; it melted down the on the screen if the contestant was wrong.
Running Gags Edit
To add comedy to the show, some running gags (besides Doug Davidson's improv) were present:
- Hole in One: If the contestant missed his/her first putt, Doug would mindlessly wander around, feeling sorry for the contestant, until he'd accidentally press the button that flips the sign that says "ONE" to the other side that says "OR TWO."
- Make Your Mark: Although only played once (and sadly a loss), the comedy bit that would have been the running gag consisted of Doug giving the contestant $100 to start with, only to have the producer walk out and remind him the correct amount was $500.
- Cliff Hangers: Doug referred to the mountain climber as "Hans," similar to how Dennis James referred to him as "Fritz," and Drew Carey referring to him as "Yodely Guy."
- Magic #: Doug referred to the Magic # props as the "geezmo" and the lever as the "leever."'
- 3 Strikes: Some jokes, such as a rubber chicken or severed hand, would be placed in the bag for humor.
The Showcase Showdown was played with the traditional Big Wheel (in which the spinners were ordered from highest to lowest), but it mostly used a new format called "The Price WAS Right." This was played like the One Bid games in the daytime version. The three players stand in front of a quasi-Contestant's Row, arranged either by least to most winnings or by the order they were called. A vintage commercial for a product was presented to the three contestants who were then asked to bid on what the product cost at the time the commercial first aired. The contestant with the closest bid without going over advanced to the Showcase. In the event that all three contestants overbid (which rarely happened), the bids were erased and began again, with Davidson instructing contestants to bid lower than the lowest bid in the previous round. No bonus was awarded for a "Perfect Bid."
The Showcase was also changed, with only one person playing the Showcase; the pricing game Range Game was modified for this round. A new prop was built with a $60,000 scale ($10,000 to $70,000). During the show's final commercial break, the winner of the Showcase Showdown chose a range at random between $3,000 and $10,000 (in $1,000 increments).
A single showcase was then presented. Once it was finished, the rangefinder was started up the scale. The contestant pulled a lever when they thought the showcase value was contained within the range. If correct, the contestant won the showcase, which was generally worth between $20,000-$60,000, comparatively higher than average showcase values on the daytime show (which, at the time, offered showcases usually worth between $10,000-$30,000).
Although this Showcase format was unsuccessful in the United States, a modified version of this is used on versions of the show in other countries.
- The set and theme song from this version was used for the unsold lottery-themed pilot called Cash Tornado hosted by Jim Perry and announced by Gene Wood although it was never tied to a specific lottery but would have featured three different qualifier tickets for any lottery that chose to buy the show. As they played a series of games culminating with the game Avalanche where the winner could possibly win up to $100,000 on top of what they won earlier. Although the show did not sell the sizzle reel was uploaded by fellow game show host Wink Martindale on his official YouTube page. additionally, Roger Dobkowitz was one of the contestants playing Force Field and Lisa Stahl was one of the models in the pilot.
- The show was launched by Jonathan Goodson in 1994 as an attempt to modernize the program and attract a younger demographic, as the show at the time had a stigma of being "old" and having an aging audience. In addition, Goodson feared that the daytime version's host, Bob Barker, was getting old and wouldn't be able to host much longer.
- Besides both versions being Mark Goodson shows and taping at the same studio, this version used a completely different cast and crew from the daytime one.
- The shows models were much younger than those appearing at the time on the daytime Price. Of the three, Lisa Stahl was the oldest at the age of 29. By comparison, all three regular daytime Price is Right models at the time were at least 40 years old; Kathleen Bradley was 43, Holly Hallstrom was 42 and longest-tenured model Janice Pennington was 52.
- Both Bob Barker and Rod Roddy noted on-air disliking this version of the show.
- The show confused many longtime fans, who thought Bob Barker was no longer host of the show. As the show aired during Barker's lawsuit with former Barker Beauty Dian Parkinson, it was rumored he was fired and the show changed formats to fit this, but Barker explained on the air that it was a separate program and the daytime version wasn't going anywhere.
- This syndicated version of the show had much looser rules about when it could be scheduled (compared to the two previous versions, which had much stricter rules per CBS, in order not to take away viewers from the daytime version.) In fact, in some markets, the program aired at the same time as the daytime version, having the two programs compete against each other.
- The program was bundled with the new Family Feud featuring the return of Richard Dawson. Some stations picked up just one of the programs, while others took both of them. Some took just Family Feud, which also offered stations two episodes. When this version of TPIR was cancelled, some of the stations picked up the additional episode of Family Feud to fill the time slot.
- The show struggled to get high ratings due to many factors including poor time clearances, the O.J. Simpson trial preempting programming, viewer unfamiliarity with the format and comparing unfavorably to the daytime version.
- The daytime version would start skewing younger demographics shortly after this version's cancellation by adding more and more college students as contestants. Also, Barker's appearance in the film Happy Gilmore gave him exposure to many younger fans as well.
- Davidson once played against Bob Barker and The Price is Right team on Family Feud (as a member of The Young and the Restless team).
- Davidson auditioned to take over as host after Bob Barker's retirement, but was passed over for Drew Carey.
- Richardson became a "temporary replacement" for the late Rod Roddy on the daytime Price is Right in 2003 due to being diagnosed with colon cancer at the time.
- Although the format of this show was unsuccessful an the U.S., this show's format would be adopted in many foreign versions afterward, most notably Europe, Israel and Mexico.
- A music package by Edd Kalehoff was made for this version, along with some recycled cues from the daytime version thrown in for certain events. This package was recycled into the daytime, Million Dollar Spectaculars and Gameshow Marathon episodes after this version's cancellation. The theme and its "Come On Down" cue were also carried over to European versions of the show, notably Bruce's Price Is Right.