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1956: 'To Tell the Truth' Debuts on CBS
June 18, 2017  | By David Bianculli  | 2 comments
 
The quiz show To Tell the Truth — which debuted today in 1956 — outlasted most of the others of the period, especially after the 1958 quiz-show scandal, partly because it had nothing to hide. After all, this was one game show where every contestant was supposed to be untrustworthy.

The major memories from this quiz show are mostly visual, and come from the beginning and end of each game. At the start there are the silhouettes of the three contestants, standing there like statues before the scrim curtain rises to reveal their faces. And at the end, after the panelists had recorded their guesses as to which of the three contestants was really the person described at the beginning, host Bud Collyer (or, in the long-running syndicated version, Garry Moore) asked the still-famous phrase "Will the real ___________ please stand up?" — whereupon all three contestants teased the panel, and the viewers, by bobbing up and down randomly until one finally confessed and stood tall.

Orson Bean, Peggy Cass, Tom Poston, and Kitty Carlisle were the core panelists on the CBS version, but to tell the truth, those visual gimmicks, and that "stand up" query, are what really stand out today.

—Excerpted from Dictionary of Teleliteracy: Television's 500 Biggest Hits, Misses and Events



 
 
 
 
 
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2 Comments
 
 
Mac
And here it is again,on ABC in Summer 2016 prime time. Call it the Steve Harvey Effect,but many of these re-booted game shows feature Hosts of Color. While scripted show may take a rightful beating by focusing on young,attractive and white,this genre may have found a niche. Or maybe the Drew Carey Show Effect,with Carey,Craig Ferguson and Wayne Brady all game show hosts.What? No Mimi as a Beat The Clock hostess?. As for Harvey,with two Feuds(showing up around here on multiple outlets, as well as GSN),a kiddie talent show,a talk show, a morning drive time radio show and his past scripted comedy show back in syndication,Harvey shows up on TV more times than any insurance ad icon.
Jun 18, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
E Lomke
Holds up better than I do at 60 (& I do thank Buzzr)
Jun 18, 2016   |  Reply
 
 
 
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

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