Janice Renee, Al Milstein and Bob Barker
Truth or Consequences, one of the most popular game shows from the early days of TV, could be making a comeback. The Gurin Company, which produces Oh Sit! for The CW, has licensed the rights to the show and is currently shopping it to networks.
"Truth or Consequences is a great collection of game, stunt, hidden camera, reunions, surprises, strange talents and unique guests," says Phil Gurin, president and CEO of The Gurin Company. "It's just a really fun show. We're taking the original show and making it bigger."
Truth or Consequences ran for 38 years on radio and TV, including on both CBS and NBC, and later in syndication. The show, which Gurin licensed from Ralph Edwards Productions (which launched it on radio in 1939), was Bob Barker's first TV job in 1956. A town in New Mexico renamed itself Truth or Consequences, N.M., in homage and is still called that to this day.
The game show puts ordinary people in unusual (and sometimes absurd) situations. "What's amazing, looking at old episodes, is that most people would answer the 'truth' question incorrectly in order to subject themselves to the consequence," Gurin says. "People want to perform the stunts, which always makes for good TV. Add an unexpected reunion with a family member, or a surprise from someone in the past, and the show tugs at your heart strings."
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Gurin is also looking to revive the game show Treasure Hunt, which aired in the 1950s, 1970s and 1980s. An updated version of the series, which Gurin describes as a "modern take on the classic shell game," pits three couples against each other as they select treasure chests, all of which have surprises inside. The team with the most prizes moves on to a quest for $1 million.
Gurin has partnered with Wink Martindale, Mark Maxwell-Smith and John Ricci Jr. for Treasure Hunt, which he's shopping to both U.S. and international broadcasters. (He'll be pitching Treasure and Truth at this month's MIPCOM international TV conference.) Gurin's other credits include Shark Tank, The Singing Bee and The Weakest Link.
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