To Tell The Truth (lost first season of syndicated panel show; 1969-1970)

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The show's logo from 1969 to 1973.

Status: Lost

To Tell The Truth is an American panel show that was created by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman first premiered on CBS on December 18, 1956 and was hosted by Superman voice actor Bud Collyer and would have multiple versions in the years since. The show has a panel of four celebrities guess which one of three contestants (who claim to be the same person) is the real person they claim to be. The show currently airs on ABC as of June 14, 2016 and is hosted by actor Anthony Anderson. The show's many versions have been reran since 1994 on various cable channels and a large number of episodes survive. The syndicated version that aired from September 8, 1969 to September 7, 1978 is the show's best known version and has had many famous guests on it like Jesus Christ Superstar lyricist Tim Rice, Marvel Comics artist Stan Lee and con man Frank Abagnale Jr. However, only episodes from 1970 to the end of the run have been heavily reran and no episodes from the version's first season have resurfaced.

The show's run on CBS ended on September 6, 1968 after 12 years on the network in both primetime and daytime. By then the show had declined in the ratings since it's 1956 debut and the president of daytime programming Fred Silverman had cancelled every single game show that was airing on the network in daytime and wanted to extend soap operas to 45 minutes and the changes made to Truth's final season (music, set and the format) were a contributing factor in the show ending in 1968.[1] Three days after Truth ended on CBS, another show Goodson and Todman created "What's My Line?" (which ended it's run on CBS a year earlier) premiered in Syndication and was a smash hit in the ratings. The success of What's My Line? convinced Goodson and Todman to revive To Tell The Truth for Syndication. The show was to be the same as it was before the changes made in 1967. Goodson and Todman wanted Bud Collyer to return to host the show. But he turned down the offer to return as his health had declined rapidly and Garry Moore (who hosted I've Got A Secret which was also created by Goodson and Todman) was untimely chosen to host the show. Collyer died on the same day the version premiered.[2] Just like What's My Line? a year earlier, the syndicated To Tell The Truth became a ratings success.

The show first began be reran on Game Show Network in 1994, episodes from the show's many variations have aired on the network. Episodes of this version had became scarce to come by after Game Show Network ceased airing the show in 2009 with only home recordings surfacing until October 2018, when Buzzr added this version of the show to their schedule. As of July 2021, this version is still being reran on Buzzr. The first season of the show was not reran on Game Show Network or Buzzr however, which is strange considering that this version of the show exists in it's entirety. Little information is known about the first season outside of the premiere date. Only one detail is known of the premiered episode of the first season. According to To Tell the Truth on the;

"From its opening moments with the psychedelic set and rock music score, the 1969 premiere set itself apart from its staid CBS predecessor. But it was really only after the first game -- when Garry Moore demonstrated adding water to dehydrated food and accidentally used the wrong end of a water dispenser, then mugged his way out of the predicament -- that it was clear this "TTTT" was determined to be more fun than the original series in both form and content."[3]

The status of season one is unknown and as of the writing of this article, no footage, screenshots or audio from season one has been located.

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References[edit | edit source]