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To Tell the Truth 

Fourth version of the verenable game show, where a celebrity panel must decide who, among three possible contestants, is the actual person associated with a story.




1   Unknown  
1991   1990  
1 nomination. See more awards »


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To Tell the Truth (1956–1968)
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Classic game show in which a person of some notoriety and two impostors try to match wits with a panel of four celebrities. The object of the game is to try to fool the celebrities into ... See full summary »

Stars: Bud Collyer, Kitty Carlisle, Tom Poston
To Tell the Truth (1969–1978)
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Five-day-a-week syndicated revival of one of Goodson-Todman's most durable and longest-lived formats: A celebrity panel determines which of three contestants is the actual person associated with a given story.

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To Tell the Truth (1980–1981)
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Third version of the veteran game show, where a celebrity panel must decide who the actual person associated with a story is.

Stars: Robin Ward, Alan Kalter, Nipsey Russell


Series cast summary:
Burton Richardson Burton Richardson ...  Himself - Announcer 32 episodes, 1990-1991
Kitty Carlisle ...  Herself - Panelist 27 episodes, 1990-1991
Lynn Swann Lynn Swann ...  Himself - Panelist / ... 16 episodes, 1990-1991
Ron Masak ...  Himself - Panelist 15 episodes, 1990-1991
Orson Bean ...  Himself - Panelist 15 episodes, 1990-1991
Gordon Elliott Gordon Elliott ...  Himself - Host 14 episodes, 1990
David Niven Jr. ...  Himself - Panelist 14 episodes, 1990-1991


"To Tell the Truth" has been one of Mark Goodson Productions' most durable formats, and this 1990 represented the fourth revival of the popular game show. The format remained the same--three contestants claim to be associated with a story, read as an affidavit at the start of each game. Only one is actually the person he claims to be; the other two are lying. The four celebrity panelists, one at a time, question the three contestants (addressing them by No. 1, No. 2. and No. 3) in an attempt to expose the liars and determine who was telling the truth. After all four celebrities have had their turn to question the team, they voted separately as to who they thought was the real person associated with the story. Payoffs were based on the team's ability to fool the panel - $500 per incorrect vote and $3,000 if they fooled all four panelists. Two such games were played per show. After the second game, a new segment, "One on One" was played with two more contestants, one an audience member ... Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

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Release Date:

3 September 1990 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


On the show's premiere date, NBC mistakenly broadcast the pilot to the Eastern and Central time zones. Richard Kline was the host, and the episode featured a different set and announcer (Charlie O'Donnell). See more »


Version of To Tell the Truth (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

To tell the truth..... it's still a treat to watch.
15 July 2005 | by Poseidon-3See all my reviews

A truly entertaining and enjoyable concept, this game show never seems to fully die out even if various incarnations of it prove to be short-lived. The first version began in 1956 and ran twelve years. That was almost immediately followed by a second one that ran for nine. Since that, there have been three more versions to date, none of which could last more than two years at the most. Perhaps times have changed and a rather quaint show like this just can't make it anymore (or perhaps media saturation is such that fewer people can come on to tell their stories without having already been plastered all over T.V. and the Internet.) This fourth attempt was a fun, glitzy affair with the guest panelists always dressing nicely and sometimes even quite formally (in tuxedos and some hysterical 80's style get-ups on the women.) The contestants had stories that were sometimes funny, sometimes bizarre and sometimes very touching and/or poignant. Elliott was a lively, assured host, but was yanked out of the show after only eight weeks due to a contractual snafu. After that, Swann, who had been an amiable and attractive panelist, stepped in to host the show instead. This proved to be fairly disastrous. Even though he was still an appealing person, he had noticeable trouble effectively commandeering the show, continuously tripping over his words, halting his speech in odd places. When he would read the sworn affidavits aloud, he demonstrated a pitiful lack of speech training. He would hesitate, mispronounce, and just generally make a mess of things. He had a bizarre habit of putting the "H" sound after a lot of his T's and had trouble with his L's as well, which didn't bode well when he had to say the word "dollars" multiple times during an episode. Still, the show had many amusing and touching moments. Carlisle, who appeared in every rendition of TTTT from the beginning was a class act all the way. She was treated like royalty on this show and was a tasteful and friendly panelist. For one stretch of time, she fell at the airport hurting her leg and couldn't enter down the large steps in her usual fashion, so the announcer had to say, "Temporarily unable to make her usual grand entrance down the staircase...." Another sharp and glamorous panelist was the gorgeous Mary Ann Mobley who went for the jugular and proved to be a well-rounded, extraordinarily kind person. She was quite an eyeful in her huge, glittery earrings and dramatic blouses. Many, many celebs appeared on the show who are not credited here. Most of them are in the "WHO??" category such as Tom Villard, David Niven jr, Ron Masak and Jeff Johnson or in the "Whatever happened to" category like Khrystyne Haje, who usually looked preposterous with all her bows, ruffles and massive mane of crimped hair. Other panelists included: Orson Bean (tended to be obnoxious and only marginally amusing), Polly Bergen (enjoyably cranky), Peggy Cass (a former fixture of the previous shows), Vicki Lawrence (having fun, but befuddled) and Chris Lemmon (another one who went for the jugular, but with less success.) Occasionally, a contestant would be in some way associated with a star and that star would appear, such as when Carrie Fisher's maid was on. One decidedly hilarious episode occurred when a woman appeared with five plastic cages of mice and rats and Swann couldn't keep one of them in it's container. He took his shoe off to weigh down the lid, but it didn't help and he finally had to hold the lid on, getting bitten in the process! It's a format that can still lend itself to television success, but by now no one can be bothered to get all dolled up and treat game shows as a sort of cocktail party diversion. That's why this version, even with it's flaws, stands out from the usual stuff.

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