Mark Goodson Wiki
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Pilot, November 1956 "Nothing But The Truth"
CBS Primetime, December 18, 1956 – September 25, 1966
CBS Daytime, June 18, 1962 – September 6, 1968
CBS Primetime, December 12, 1966 – May 22, 1967
Number of episodes
474 (CBS Primetime)
1,625 (CBS Daytime)
Run time
30 Minutes
Mike Wallace (1956 Pilot)
Bud Collyer

Ralph Bellamy
Gene Rayburn
Bert Convy
Mark Goodson

Bern Bennett December 1956 – June 1960
Roger Foster 1960
Gene Wood
Johnny Olson October 1960 – September 1968
CBS Studio 62, New York City, New York (December 1956 – June 9, 1960)
CBS Studio 52, New York City, New York (June 16, 1960 – September 1968)

To Tell the Truth (originally Nothing But the Truth in the pilot) was a game show where three people who claim to be someone are questioned by a panel of four celebrities. One of them is the real person while the other two are just impostors. The panelists take turns questioning the people about their subject and then try to guess which of the three people is the truth teller. 

Game format[]

To start, three contestants all of whom claim to be the same person introduced themselves (most of the time the contestants are of the same sex, on rare occasions there would be a mixture of both sexes), then the host read the sworn affidavit of the real person. After the affidavit was read and when the challengers went over to their desk, the panelists one by one asked a series of questions to the challengers based on the affidavit in some way for an unmentioned amount of time. The impostors were allowed to lie, but the real person was game bound to tell the truth (hence the name of the show). Once one panelist's time was up, another panelist started questioning. Once the entire panel's time was up, they started to vote for whoever was the real person. Each panelist showed his/her vote, and regardless of whoever they voted for, the appropriate panelist's vote for the appropriate contestant was signified by an "X" (in most versions the Xs appeared in lights, but in the 90s version only, the Xs were on flip cards). Once all the votes were cast, the real person then revealed himself/herself by standing up by virtue of the host saying "Will the real (insert person's name) please stand up?". After the real person revealed himself/herself, the impostors told everyone their real names & occupations; then there was a brief chat (sometimes a stunt) to the real person. For each incorrect vote, the team of challengers won some money.

Panelist's Disqualification[]

Sometimes, a panelist would recognize or actually know one of the challengers, not necessarily the real person. If and when that happened, the panelist can disqualify himself/herself (later renamed recusal) causing an automatic wrong vote and giving the challengers money for that vote.

Audience Vote[]

In the 60s daytime version and the 50s pilot, the audience got in on the fun by making a vote themselves. The challenger with the majority vote got that vote. In case of a two-way or three-way tie, it worked the same as the panelist's disqualification; for that vote was considered wrong and the challengers picked up the incorrect vote value.


Here are the payoffs for the incorrect votes according to the version:

  • 50s Nighttime Version - Each incorrect vote was worth $250 meaning that a complete stump was worth $1,000. If the entire panel chose the same challenger and was correct, the challengers still won $150.
  • 60s Daytime Version - Each incorrect vote was worth $100 meaning that a complete stump was worth $400. When the audience vote was instituted in the original CBS daytime version, the maximum prize was raised to $500.



Regular Panelists included:

Broadcast History[]

Primetime/Nighttime/Sunday Evening
December 18, 1956-September 16, 1958 (CBS Tuesday Nights at 9:00-9:30 PM)
September 23, 1958-September 22, 1959 (CBS Tuesday Nights at 8:30-9:00 PM)
October 1, 1959-June 30, 1960 (CBS Thursday Nights at 7:30-8:00 PM)
July 7-September 22, 1960 (CBS Thursday Nights at 10:30-11:00 PM)
September 26, 1960-September 5, 1966 (CBS Monday Nights at 7:30-8:00 PM)
September 11-25, 1966 (CBS Sunday Evenings at 5:00-5:30 PM)
December 12, 1966-May 22, 1967 (CBS Monday Nights at 10:00-10:30 PM.)

June 18-December 28, 1962 (CBS Weekdays at 3:30-3:55 PM w/5-Minute Newscast)
December 31, 1962-September 6, 1968 (CBS Weekdays at 3:00-3:25 PM w/5-Minute Newscast.)


The original 1956 pilot called Nothing But the Truth hosted by Mike Wallace aired on Buzzr as part of their To Tell the Truth marathon in conjunction with the ABC reboot hosted by Anthony Anderson on June 12, 2016.
At the time, Both Goodson and Todman originally wanted Collyer to once again host the revival of Truth in 1969, but he declined due to his poor health, but when they both called Garry Moore about the gig, Moore immediately called Collyer, who told Moore that "I am just not up to it" as he died at age 61 from a circulatory ailment on the very same day as the syndicated version of Truth premiered on September 8, 1969.

Truth is one of two Goodson-Tomdan/Goodson game shows that has a share of the most multiple hosts (nine in total) in history. The second one of that nature is Family Feud as of which, it only has six hosts in total.

According to Adam Nedeff, with the exception of the first month, the rest of the CBS Daytime Series exists.

International Versions[]

Main Article: To Tell the Truth/International


Main Article: To Tell the Truth/Merchandise


Main Article: To Tell the Truth/Photos

Episode Status[]

Recorded in New York City, New York at the Biltmore Theatre/CBS Studio 62 from November 1956 to June 1960, CBS Studio 52 from June 1960 to January 1967, CBS Broadcast Center/Studio 41 from September 1966 to 1967, and The Ed Sullivan Theater/CBS Studio 50 from 1967 to August 1968.

Special thanks to Marshall Akers for his version of the Primetime Guide, as well as for data on episodes that exist only at the Library of Congress, and for Newspaper Archives for background on subjects from missing episodes and the panel for Daytime Week #013. Celebrity Rounds are bolded. Relative Rounds from 1967 to 1968 are bolded and italicized.

See Also: To Tell the Truth/Episode Guide
To Tell the Truth/CBS Daytime Episode Guide (1962–1968)


To Tell the Truth @ Pearson's Official Website (via Internet Archive)
FremantleMedia Looking to Revive To Tell the Truth
FremantleMedia North America & Jeff Gaspin to Revive To Tell the Truth

See Also[]

To Tell the Truth (1969)
To Tell the Truth (1980)
To Tell the Truth (1990)
To Tell the Truth (2000)
To Tell the Truth (2016)



Nothing But The Truth (Pilot)


To Tell The Truth - Christmas Eve 1957


To Tell the Truth - Final Evening Network Braodcast (1 of 3)


To Tell the Truth - Final Evening Network Braodcast (2 of 3)


To Tell the Truth - Final Evening Network Braodcast (3 of 3)


To Tell the Truth September 6, 1968 (Daytime Finale)


To Tell The Truth (mid-60's promo)