TV Revival List: Tattletales | Bonehead Picks

TV Revival List: Tattletales

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This is what you would call the celebrity edition of The Newlywed Game, only it was actually funnier. They were not at all newlywed couples, but were either mostly married or just going steady. At times one celebrity would voluntarily pair up with another due to one’s sexuality causing public sensitivity at that time. This version was called Tattletales, which ran on two separate occasions on CBS and the late great Bert Convy hosted both versions.

The show first ran from 1974-78 while during the last season ran a weekly syndicated version in 1977-78. Then after four years off the air Tattletales had a second run from 1982-84. The format was set where the first couple was representing the red section in the audience, the second for the yellow (always referred to as banana by Convy) and the third for the blue section. These were what you called rooting sections, one color representing each couple. If the rooting section’s team won the game, that section of the audience would win bonus money.

One spouse would be at the podium while the other half would be secluded behind the set wearing headphones. The original format started in which Convy would mention a phrase starting a storyline, and the first to buzz in would give either a one or two word clue. Two word clues would be worth $50 and one word clues $100. Once they decided which to give, the spouse would tell a story and then once the clue was given, the other would pop up on their monitors have to match that story as specific as possible.

Once that portion ended, Convy would ask multiple choice questions which they called “Tattletale Quickies”. If they matched they would win $100. Later on throughout the entire run, the show went forward with only the “Tattletale Quickies” and the rest of the money amounts were changed. While the men were onstage, questions were $150, but started out as a pot. If one answered right, they get $150, two for $75 each and all three $50 each. When the women were onstage, the same format continued except the final question was worth $300.

Whichever team had the most money at the end of the game won a $1,000 bonus for their rooting section to be divided. In the event of a tie, the $1,000 would be split between the winning teams. Several celebrities took part on the show with their spouses on a frequent basis, like William Shatner. Before becoming host of Wheel Of Fortune, Chuck Woolery appeared with his second wife Jo Ann Pflug. Even the great Betty White played along with her late husband, Password host Allen Ludden.

All couples who appeared participated throughout the whole week. Even on occasion, Convy would play the game along with his wife while being substituted by The Price Is Right host Bob Barker, Match Game host Gene Rayburn or Family Feud host Richard Dawson. On all runs of the program, only celebrities played the game.

Reruns of some of the shows have been seen on Game Show Network and now ran daily on Buzzr, but only from 1974-77. If this show were to come back, I wouldn’t be so sure of using celebrities thanks to the way social media has gotten somewhat out of control these days. The latest setup of questions seems logical with only more money at stake. Surely Fremantlemedia ought to give some thought to reviving another retro game show with a new implemented system.

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