Friday, February 26, 2010

G-T Shows I Miss on GSN: Tattletales

Another Goodson-Todman show I’d like to see return to GSN would be Tattletales, which originally aired from 1974-1978 on CBS and focused on celebrity couples and their personal lives. It was hosted by Bert Convy (who would win an Emmy for hosting the show in 1977). The format had three celebrity couples playing for cash which would be awarded to three different parts the studio audience. One red section, one yellow (or later called banana) section, and one blue one. The husbands would play in-studio and the wives off-stage in an isolation booth. When the first half of the show was over, they’d switch places.

I wish they had kept the earlier story format, in which for the first month of the show, in the front-game there was a “buzz-in“ type question or phrase such as “It happened at…” or “A humdinger of an argument” where then a husband or wife playing in the studio would buzz in and answer, then giving a keyword to identify it, such as “keys,” and would hope that their mate off-stage got it right. After that round would be “quickie” questions which would be multiple choice. That first round would be dropped in favor of all quickies. But the show still produced some zany fun after making it that way.

The show came back for two years in 1982. Same host, pert near identical set, and pretty much the same format. Though this version had more than married couples on. There were mother/son weeks, TV couple weeks, etc. The ‘70’s version had special occasions too; one of the best would be whenever Bert played the game with his then wife Anne. Another game show personality would host in that case; usually Gene Rayburn. And there’d also be an emcee week when game show hosts played with their spouses and they’d switch off hosting. Other hosts that participated included Bob Barker, Richard Dawson, Jack Narz, and Bobby Van.

Some refer to this as The Newlywed Game with celebrities… and well, it pretty much is. But to me that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. And I’ve come to like this show more than The Newlywed Game. This is the show for someone who’s into celebrities, but prefers to get their thrill in a tasteful manner. Tattletales comes off as all in good fun, and isn’t set out to make anyone deliberately look bad. I’ve laughed so much at many of the stories I’ve seen. One of my favorites hands down is Bill referring to a rather embarrassing moment with his mother-in-law.

This could work out well in an early afternoon slot. I’ll take this over endless Deal or No Deal or Lane Chain Reaction repeats any day of the week.

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