EXCLUSIVE: 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. 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. It will be taken out to buyers shortly.
Created by Bob Stewart, To Tell The Truth launched in the U.S. in 1956 and has gone through several incarnations on network TV and in syndication, airing a total of 25 seasons to date, with its most recent run ending in 2001. 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. One of them is telling the truth, and the other two are lying. After asking questions, the celebrities take turns identifying who they believe is telling the truth.
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. Executive producing To Tell The Truth with Gaspin and Moll are FMNA’s Thom Beers and Toby Gorman. Once a primetime staple, game shows largely have migrated to daytime and early fringe, where they do very well. FMNA is behind several of them, including Family Feud, The Price Is Right and Let’s Make A Deal. 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.