Bill Whitaker is a CBS News correspondent based in Los Angeles.
(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
They are there almost every day – people of all ages, genders and colors with big name tags on their shoulders and even bigger smiles on their faces. They are Bob Barker's people. The line to "The Price Is Right" snakes past the back door of the news bureau here at TV City. When we are running out to cover a story or walking out to lunch, "The Price Is Right" crowd is there. We hear them telling their stories to show producers – Shondra from Shreveport, Mark from Missoula – eager to be contestants, hoping to meet Bob Barker. They are part of the excitement of working at TV City, a slice of America right outside our door.
I knew Bob Barker was popular (after all, he's had the top-rated daytime game show for years), but nothing prepared me for what has been going on around TV City the last few weeks. As the clock was ticking down toward Bob Barker's retirement, legions of his fans not only were lining up, but were camping out for the chance to see him one last time – to be part of TV history. The line that usually stretched along the side of the building has been stretching around the block.
(AP Photo/Nick Ut)
People brought lawn chairs and sleeping bags and cards to keep themselves comfortable and entertained while they waited. For days. Nearby stores stayed open around the clock to feed the fans. One person we met had camped out since Saturday for a much coveted seat in the last show, which was taped yesterdya.
So far no one has been named as Bob Barker's replacement.
Whoever it is will have big shoes -- and long lines -- to fill.
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