Sunday, January 1, 2017

My truth about TTTT

ABC's To Tell the Truth returns tonight.

While it's always nice to see a game show format endure for decades through many different versions, TTTT has never been a personal favorite of mine. I put it on my top fifty list for historical reasons, but there are a lot of other game shows - and panel shows in particular - that I would rather watch.

My main complaint with the format is its wandering nature. The panelists bounce around and fire off questions of their own, and we never develop a consistent hunt for the solution, as on What's My Line or I've Got a Secret. On ABC's new version the questioning seems even more random, as the show hops from panelist to panelist.

I've got a lot of disagreement on this assessment, of course. No less than Mark Goodson proclaimed To Tell the Truth to be his favorite format, ahead of even Family Feud (see Irv Broughton's Producers on Producing). And John O'Hurley thought that his stint as host of one of the syndie versions was his best gig in show business. So what do I know?


  1. TTTT returned to blah numbers. 3.6 million and a 0.7 in the demo. It had a pretty weak lead in with the Bachelor preview special. But a positive is that Truth did rise from Bachelor. Maybe ABC should have waited a week to premiere the season. At least away from football.

  2. John O'Hurley stated in an interview on the Florence Henderson Show on Retirement Living TV in 2008 that he liked the Feud gig because he could "finish the whole season in 25 days" and it freed him up for other gigs.

    1. Peter Tomarken once recounted in an interview how his agent talked him into hosting game shows. When Tomarken asked the agent why he should do it, the agent replied, "Because you'll work four days a month and make six figures!"