Twenty-One (1956–1958)

TV Series  |  TV-G  |   |  Game-Show
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 24 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Two contestants were placed in separate isolation booths. Each player in turn would be given a category and asked how many points, from 1 to 11, he wanted to risk. Points increased with the... See full summary »

0Check in

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 63 titles
created 29 Dec 2010
a list of 50 titles
created 30 Jun 2011
list image
a list of 27 titles
created 19 Sep 2011
list image
a list of 152 titles
created 27 Sep 2012
list image
a list of 171 titles
created 19 Aug 2013

Related Items

Search for "Twenty-One" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Twenty-One (1956–1958)

Twenty-One (1956–1958) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Twenty-One.




1958   1957   1956  


Series cast summary:
Charles Van Doren ...
 Himself (3 episodes, 1956-1957)
Jack Barry ...
 Himself - Host (3 episodes, 1956-1957)
Herb Stempel ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 1956)


Two contestants were placed in separate isolation booths. Each player in turn would be given a category and asked how many points, from 1 to 11, he wanted to risk. Points increased with the questions difficulty. A correct answer earned the stated number of points, whereas a wrong answer would result in the points being deducted from the player's score. The first player to get 21 points won, unless the other player matched the score and forced a tie. Players could also end the game early if they felt they had enough points to win. Written by Eric Sorensen <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis








Release Date:

15 September 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

21  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

See  »

Did You Know?


The scandal surrounding Charles Van Doren, who was given answers and won several weeks in a row, was the basis for Quiz Show (1994). See more »


Referenced in Quiz Show (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Are things so different today?
9 February 2008 | by (N Syracuse NY) – See all my reviews

This is the notorious show that got the quiz show scandals rolling. The episode I watched, (from the "Classic Television" DVD, available from PBS), does not contain the famous confrontation between Charles Van Doren and Herbert Stempel, (in which the unpopular Stempel was ordered to get an answer wrong and almost answered it right to screw the producers). Instead it's the second week of a confrontation between two other contestants, (I didn't write down their names), who redid a game because of a disputed answer.

They show the contestants sweating it out in the "isolation booths", (designed so that they didn't hear the answers of their rivals). Some of the questions were obtainable with knowledge of general history, (Who were the winning and losing generals at the battle of Saratoga?). Some of them, such as a list of members of the Continental Congress and what they did, seemed more esoteric, but that's because I didn't know the answers. The knowledge that contestants were being fed answers makes one squirm all the more as they search the far reaches of their minds for them. But it looks so much like similar moments in "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" that you have to wonder what is going on now.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Twenty-One (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page