ABC is rebooting its 1950s/1960s hybrid game show/variety show, “To Tell The Truth,” which will be hosted by “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson.
Confirmed regular celebrity panelists include NeNe Leakes and Betty White (who actually was a panelist on the original program, decades ago). Also Anthony Anderson’s own “brassy” mother (as the press release describes her), Doris, will be the official scorekeeper and asking questions of her own, “not to mention embarrassing her son every chance she gets.”
“To Tell the Truth” featured a panel of four celebrities tasked with correctly identifying a mystery contestant, who has an unusual occupation or experience. The central character is accompanied by two impostors who pretend to be the central character. The celebrity panelists question the three contestants; the impostors are allowed to lie but the central character is sworn “to tell the truth” – hence the title of the show. After questioning, the panel attempts to identify which of the three challengers is telling the truth.
ABC has ordered a six-episode tryout reboot, although no premiere date has been announced yet. Updating the show to reflect the times, the celebrity panelist who performs the worst will have to tweet a lie about themselves to the world. Cheche and his Band of Liars will be the house band. Every episode will end with a stunt/performance.
Everything old, is new again…
Also worth noting, Anderson joins a handful of black male celebs who’ve been asked to host game shows in recent years, including Cedric the Entertainer (“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”), who was succeeded by Terry Crews for the 2014–2015 season of “Millionaire;” Wayne Brady (“Let’s Make a Deal”), Steve Harvey (“Family Feud”), Alfonso Ribeiro (“Catch 21,” “Spell-Mageddon”), and whoever else I’m forgetting at the moment.
A number of different incarnations of “To Tell the Truth” followed the original series. Here’s a clip from a 1980 episode in which Rosa Parks was the “mystery” contestant (although I’m surprised that, even in 1980, 25 years after the now very famous Montgomery bus incident that earned her a place in Civil Rights history, she apparently wasn’t a recognizable face, given that she was a contestant on this show, and the panelists clearly couldn’t immediately identify her, as we so readily can today):