For the first time in a very long time, I am watching an over-the-air television broadcast that is not an NFL football game. That’s because one of the digital sub-channels of WPWR-TV in Chicago is offering a new channel called Buzzr, which is an all-game show channel, with its core programming being the classic Mark Goodson-Bill Todman game shows of the 1970’s. (The channel was put together by the production company that purchased the Goodson-Todman titles, Freemantle Media…the company that has also produced “American Idol”) http://buzzrplay.com/
I had been waiting for this channel to debut on local TV for months now, and I found it last night when they were airing an episode of the Goodson-Todman classic “Tattletales”, hosted by Bert Convy. I am thinking that Buzzr debuted on Monday of this week, because the 1974 debut episode that I posted here has the three same celebrity couples that were on the program last night (Tuesday 6/24) and again tonight (Wednesday 6/25) are on this debut episode (those couples being Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, Dick Gauthier and Barbara Stuart, and Bobby Van and Elaine Joyce). I was not aware, as well, that “Tattletales” started with the format you see in this video, with one of the celebrity spouses buzzing in to answer questions that Bert Convy asks, and the off-stage spouses buzzing in to match the answers. The only format that I remembered was completely related to the “Tattletale Quickies” questions that are implemented in the first format of the game shown here.
When I discovered that Buzzr was added to our household over-the-air buffet table, the first show I saw last night was “Tattletales”…and it was the first time that I ever saw that program in color. When I was watching “Tattletales” weekday afternoons during the summer after “Match Game ‘7X” at 3pm CT, I was watching the program on a black-and-white Philco TV. When I saw “Tattletales” in color for the first time last night (and 41 years after the original run of the episode), the first thing that absolutely overwhelmed me was the loud Kelly green that the set was. It took me back to the absolute first time that I ever saw color TV; that was in the late 1960’s, when our family went to Burlington Memorial Hospital in Burlington, WI to visit my ailing grandmother. The lobby of the hospital had a waiting area where my brother and sister and I waited. Overlooking the lobby was a color TV showing another Goodson-Todman game show classic, “To Tell The Truth”, during its weekday daytime run on CBS. I still remember the marvel of seeing the color in host Bud Collyer’s bowtie, and seeing panelist Kitty Carlisle in tones unusual for a boy who only saw these people in tones of what computers now call grayscale. That image, burned in my memory for 45-or-so years, was revisited last night while seeing that garish green “Tattletales” set for the first time…demonstrating, in reverse of the famous tune from “All That Jazz”, that, in Ted’s world, everything new is old again.