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Retroville - the coolest place on the Net to find out everything about the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s - movies, music, news, cars, fads, crazes, disasters... just about everything... and neat stuff to buy from way back when...
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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1950 - On Television - Truth or Consequences
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1950!
Truth or Consequences actually began its long journey on the radio in 1940. Creator Ralph Edwards acted as the emcee, and the show played on NBC in its original format for ten years before moving to television.

Already a favorite in many households, the show became an instant success on television. The premiere aired on CBS with its original cast and its format left unchanged. It would run off and on for almost 30 years in various formats with different hosts and guests.  But the basic premise of the show - answer a question or suffer the consequences, remained the same throughout.

Truth or Consequences - scene from the original program
Main Characters:
  • Emcee (see host below)
  • Various contestants and special guests

Show Concept:

  • Contestants on the show were asked silly trick questions which they almost invariably failed to answer correctly. If they answered incorrectly, or failed to come up with any answer in a short time, Beulah the Buzzer went off. The emcee then told them that since they had failed to tell the truth, they would have to pay the consequences. Consequences consisted of elaborate stunts, some done in the studio and others done outside, some completed on that week's episode and others taking a week or more and requiring the contestant to return when the stunt was completed. Some of the stunts were funny, but more often they were embarrassing.

Hosts or Guests:

  • Host - Ralph Edwards (1940-1950 on the radio)
  • Host - Ralph Edwards (1950-1951)
  • Host - Jack Bailey (1954)
  • Host - Steve Dunne (1955)
  • Host - Jack Bailey (1956)
  • Host - Bob Barker (1956-1974)
  • Host - Bob Hilton (1977-1978)
  • Host - Larry Anderson (1987)

Writers or Producers:

  • Ralph Edwards, creator


  • unknown

Networks or stations:

  • CBS (1950-1951)
  • NBC (1954-1974)
  • Syndication (1977-1978)
  • Syndication (1987)

Total shows or length of production:

  • Premiered on television on July 5, 1950
  • Final episode in 1974
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