Wednesday, July 30, 2014

News You Can't Use: FremantleMedia North America & Jeff Gaspin To Revive ‘To Tell the Truth’

Apparently televised game shows not only still exist, but are enjoying a sort of pathetic renaissance were programs that first aired when Eisenhower was in office are being brought back, for want of any better new ideas. It's a lot easier than trying to create something new, or even, God help you, intellectually challenging. Here's the right way. Take a show that acted as a backdrop for the conception of many of today's retirees, add in some exposed female torso and/or lower extremities, maybe a weird touch-freak host or some colorful flashing lights and sit back and count all that money.

To Tell The Truth is eyeing a comeback. FremantleMedia North America has teamed with Jeff Gaspin and George Moll on a new version of the classic celebrity panel game show.

We have harnessed the awesome power of something your great-grandfather watched on a five inch black and white television the size of a refrigerator, two guys I've never heard of and a company that's so broke they can't even afford proper punctuation in their name.

Eyed for primetime on the broadcast networks, the new To Tell The Truth is described as an update of the familiar format with a surprising new twist that adds action and suspense and raises the stakes.

Because we all know how much the assisted living set that's presumably the target audience loves "suspense" and "raised stakes." Hold that Life Alert jewelry tight, you're in for a wild ride!

Created by Bob Stewart, To Tell The Truth launched in the U.S. in 1956

All the best ideas come from the fifties. Diners. Inconclusive anti-domino effect wars in Asia. Dream kitchens and 3-D glasses. All of these things must come back. A little more saber-rattling against North Korea and we'll achieve this very worthy goal.

The original format features a panel of four celebrities who are introduced to three people who all claim to be the same person with the same incredible talent.

The new format will feature one of the lesser Kardashians, a one-hit wonder who needs money (ladies and gentlemen, Young M.C.!), and maybe a washed up actor or two who will be introduced to three people who all claim to have the same unbelievably banal "talent" like texting using fingers other than the thumbs or being America's Vice President.

Former NBC chairman Gaspin, a To Tell The Truth fan, tracked down the format to FremantleMedia, which owns the rights. He also brought in longtime collaborator Moll. The two, along with Gay Rosenthal, created and produced one of VH1′s signature series, Behind The Music.

So they're already used to creating Old Skew dreck.

Once a primetime staple, game shows largely have migrated to daytime and early fringe, where they do very well.

Right up there with Judge Sassy Older Woman and hour-long infomercials for a technical school that teaches you how to repair torpedo tubes on Great War-era submarines.

"Are you now, or have your ever been, a Communist?"

Recent game shows that have had successful primetime runs include Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Deal Or No Deal and Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? (all spawning syndicated versions) as well as the current NBC series Hollywood Game Night.

If you were wondering whether turning the moron box off and leaving it off was the right decision, here's your answer.

Komment Korner  

Just how in the heck are they going to do this without Kitty Carlisle?

Obviously won’t be any politicians on the show.

I’m not interested in hearing modern Americans “tell the truth” about their weird sexual practices and the filth they put into their mouths, which is what this program will boil down to.

put obama on that SHOW!!!

Might actually be too smart for viewers these days.

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

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