Recently on our Facebook page, we asked our audience to give their top five US TV game shows produced by Goodson-Todman and Mark Goodson Productions. Using the 58 replied that we received, we compiled a top-five based on data, using a points system to determine the result.
Following curiosity from some of those taking part, we are now publishing the results which came in places 6 to 10, in some cases very narrowly missing out on those top spots.
1 = 5 points
2 = 4 points
3 = 3 points
4 = 2 points
5 = 1 point
In a situation where there are several versions and revivals of the show, all of the separate points have been combined to create an overall total for the format. We will hope to find the most popular versions of separate formats in a future poll. Pictures and videos have been used where available.
10) Tattletales (18 points)
Tattletales, hosted by Bert Convy, first airing on CBS in 1974, comes in at number 10 on the list.
The format consisted of three celebrity couples answering questions about each other in a bid to win money for their section of the studio audience; a change from the short-lived 1969-70 show on which Tattletales was based: He Said, She Said. Each set of three couples would compete on five daily editions over the space of a week.
Tattletales can currently be seen on game show channel Buzzr.
9) Blockbusters (21 points)
Closely running with Tattletales in terms of points, Blockbusters finishes in the number 9 spot.
First broadcast in 1980, it was hosted for the first run by Bill Cullen, then subsequently by Bill Rafferty. The game was a battle of knowledge, with players competing to make it from one side to the other (or top to bottom) of a beehive-shaped grid, filled with letters representing questions, before the other team. Two teams played against each other head to head, with one difference from the norm: one team would have one player, the second team would be a pair of competitors, usually family.
Blockbusters 1981 can currently be seen on game show channel Buzzr.
8) I’ve Got a Secret (33 points)
In at number 8 on the list, I’ve Got A Secret garnered 33 points.
I’ve Got A Secret was initially hosted by Garry Moore, from its first episode in 1952 until 1964, Steve Allen replacing him when he decided to retire.
In a format similar to What’s My Line, a panel of celebrities are tasked with guessing the unusual or unexpected secret about each contestant, with each panellist allowed a limited amount of time before questioning passed to the next seat.
There have been revivals over the years, but the Garry Moore years have most recently been broadcast on game show channel Buzzr, and are also available on Amazon Prime Video (US only).
7) To Tell The Truth (43 points)
To Tell The Truth narrowly missed out on the top spot here, reaching number 7 with 43 points.
Hosted by Bud Collyer from 1956-68 with both daily daytime and evening editions from 1962, To Tell The Truth was broadcast on CBS until it went into syndication and later on enjoyed an NBC revival in the 1990-91 season, with the current run beginning in 2016 on ABC.
The format consisted of three contestants all claiming to be the same person – usually with some special achievement, or someone with a strange occupation – with the celebrity panellists questioning them in order to decide who they thought was the real thing.
Original run To Tell The Truth is available on Amazon Prime Video (US only), while the 1973 season with Garry Moore is currently broadcast on game show channel Buzzr; the current version hosted by Anthony Anderson is broadcast on ABC.
6) What’s My Line (49 points)
What’s My Line only just missed out on a place in the top five, with 49 points.
Created in 1950 by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman, What’s My Line has the accolade of being the longest-running US primetime network television game show. Hosted by well-known news anchor – usually referred to as “moderator” – John Charles Daly, the show’s initial run continued until 1967, with a revival hosted first by Wally Bruner and then Larry Blyden.
The game consisted of a panel of four celebrities, for many years comprised of Dorothy Kilgallen, Arlene Francis and Bennet Cerf with the “guest” chair occupied by various semi-regulars and one-off appearances. The panel would have to guess the occupation of each contestant by asking questions with a possible “yes” or “no” answer. Each time they got a “no”, Daly would flip over a card. If all 10 cards were flipped without the panel guessing, the contestant would win the prize money. In the Mystery Guest round, the panellists would be blindfolded while trying to guess the identity of a celebrity guest.
What’s My Line 1972 can currently be seen on game show channel Buzzr; with a large selection of episodes from 1955 are available on Amazon Prime Video (US only).