Monday, April 11, 2016

Mike Wallace, game show host? (Nothing But The Truth, 1956)

Ah, the early days of television. Seems it wasn't always enough to be working for a network's news department.

Take for example John Charles Daly, moderator of CBS' What's My Line?. That, you see, was his "moonlighting" gig, as he was a news anchor----for ABC---during the week.

To that end, CBS decided to let one of their own newsmen try his luck hosting a game show. The late Mike Wallace had two chances, and this, I think, was the first one. In December 1956, Wallace taped a pilot for a game show called, Nothing But The Truth. Of course, we know it better as To Tell The Truth. Producers Mark Goodson & Bill Todman thought this would work. Wallace oversees a panel that includes fellow newsman & watch salesman John Cameron Swayze and future icon Dick Van Dyke.

To Tell The Truth made its formal debut on December 18, 1956, with Bud Collyer as moderator, and Wallace wound up on the panel. He would get another game show gig, and we'll cover that another time.

The gameplay was tweaked as the series went along during its first 12 year run (1956-68). The audience vote was, in fact, dropped, then brought back several years later. We've discussed Truth's storied history previously, but for the fact that there were plans as recently as last year for a pilot intended for ABC, with actor Anthony Anderson as host. We'll see if that happens.

Rating: A-.


Mike Doran said...

In 1956, Mike Wallace was free-lance, working mainly at a local New York station on a late-night talk show called NIGHT BEAT.
When he wasn't doing that, Wallace did game and panel work on other shows on all three networks, as well as many commercial voiceovers.

The year after this show, in 1957, Wallace did a NIGHT BEAT-like show for ABC, THE MIKE WALLACE INTERVIEW, which got him in trouble when he booked a notorious gangster as a guest (That's another story for another time ...)

Mike Wallace did not work for CBS News until 1963, when he took over the CBS MORNING NEWS; He was trying to get away from showbiz - and ultimately succeeded.

hobbyfan said...

Hmmmm. THanks for the info, Mike.