Drew Carey, <i>Come On Down!</i>

Drew Carey CBS/The Early Show

Initially, Drew Carey didn't want to replace the recently retired Bob Barker as the host of "The Price Is Right."

Carey found out that he was in the running for the job while he was eating at a Cracker Barrel in North Carolina with his girlfriend. His agent called to say he met with CBS about the show.

"He goes, 'What would you think about being the new host of 'The Price is Right?' I went, 'What? No way,' " Carey told The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith. "I turned him down flat. A month later they came after me again. I did a little more investigation on how the show would go, what would happen to it. I decided to put my hat in the ring and we negotiated a deal."

Carey said he didn't realize "The Price is Right" is the top rated show on daytime.

"I was like, 'Wow, that's a — bigger thing than I thought,' " he said. "You know, I talked to people about it. They all thought it was a good idea."

Carey announced the news during an interview on CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman" Monday night.

"They approached me right after I did the pilot for a 'Power of 10' and I said no," he told Letterman. "A month later they called my agent and said, 'What if we really go after Drew?' We've been negotiating ever since."

Carey is also the host of the CBS prime-time game show "Power of 10," which is set to debut in August.

He got the good news 15 minutes before he went on stage to do the interview with Letterman.

Photos: Drew Carey
"All I know is all the deal points have been settled," he told Letterman. "My girlfriend was already on the phone with a personal shopper from Bergdorf's."

Carey has also been seeing the perks of his new job. As part of the wooing process, president of CBS Entertainment Nina Tassler called him to ask if he got her gift of an iPhone. They talked for about a half hour and when he went home he found a package that contained the iPhone, and a T-shirt and mug from "The Price Is Right."

Carey is also very excited about "Power of 10," which he says is the biggest money game show on TV because every contestant has a chance to win $10 million. The show is based on a survey of 1,200 people chosen to exactly represent the demographics of the United States. The contestant is asked a question about politics, religion or even personal habits and must guess how America answered. Carey said some of the responses are very surprising.

"One that shocked me: What percentage of white Americans said they would never vote for an African-American for president? That was one of our questions on the show," he said. "It was 18 percent. I was surprised it was that high."
  • Judy Faber

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