Game Show/Panel Game hybrid created by Ira Skutch and produced by Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions. A loose revival of He Said, She Said, it was hosted by Bert Convy and saw three celebrity couples trying to match answers. Only one half of each couple played the game onstage; the other half was placed offstage with headphones. Each episode of the show was directed by Paul Alter.
Originally, the show used a format wherein Convy would ask a question, and whichever spouse was onstage would ring in and relate a similar experience. If the offstage half could match the description given a one- or two-word clue, s/he would receive a cash award. These questions alternated with "Tattletales Quickies", or multiple-choice questions involving incidents in the couples' lives. In June 1974, the format was retooled to include only the "Quickie" clues. On all versions, the game was played in four rounds — two with the husbands onstage, and two with the wives onstage. Any money won by the celebrity couples was divided among Studio Audience members sitting in sections that corresponded to that couple red, yellow (or "banana", as Convy called it), and blue.
The show ran from 1974 to 1978 on CBS (with a concurrent syndicated run in the 1977-78 season) and was brought back from 1982 to 1984, again with Convy as host. This version was replaced in June 1984 with Body Language, another Goodson creation and another revival (this one of 1975's Showoffs). A revival of Tattletales is now in the works for HBO Max. It will be co-produced and hosted by NBA star Stephen Curry and his wife Ayesha.
Game Show Tropes in use:
- The Announcer: Jack Clark announced in 1974, followed by Gene Wood for the rest of the original series. Johnny Olson announced the revival.
- Game Show Host: Bert Convy. Occasionally, he would sit on the panel (with his then-wife, Anne) and hand hosting duties over to another Goodson-Todman host (usually Gene Rayburn).
- Studio Audience: The audience was divided into "rooting" sections corresponding to each celebrity. Every audience member received a share of the money allotted to the corresponding celebrity couple, with a bonus if that couple won the game.
- Sound Proof Booth: While the husbands were onstage, the wives were in a different room wearing headphones, and then brought "onscreen" via closed-circuit television.
This show provides examples of:
- Advertising Campaigns: One GSN promo featured some couples laughing as they were introduced, after which the date of their future divorce popped up on the screen. The tagline? "Nothing Ruins a Marriage Quicker than a Tattletale."
- The Beard: Charles Nelson Reilly and Dick Sargent appeared for a week with "their gals", Marcia Wallace and Fannie Flagg.
- Colour Coded Multiplayer: The aforementioned Red-Banana-Blue motif.
- A Day in the Limelight: Convy, along with his wife Anne, occasionally got the chance to play the game while Gene Rayburn, Bob Barker, Bobby Van, or Jack Narz would take over hosting duties.
- Fish-Eye Lens: Used in the intro.
- Guest Host: Convy wanted to sit on the panel, so a rotation of guest hosts ensued.
- In-Series Nickname: "Banana" for the yellow section of the audience. Orson Bean went one step further and called the red section "the Pimentos", although this usually didn't stick.
- Obvious Beta: The 1969-70 He Said, She Said, hosted by Joe Garagiola. Bert Convy and wife Anne appeared as a celebrity couple in a few episodes.
- When Tattletales was being developed for CBS, its original title was Celebrity Match Mates, and Gene Rayburn was to host it. But Gene landed the Match Game reboot, and when the show was renamed as Tattletales, the host job went to Convy.
- Going back even further, before becoming He Said, She Said, the show was developed in 1963 for NBC as It Had to Be You. It didn't sell, so it was held off for six years.
- Opening Narration: "Everyone in this arena has a money stake in one of our famous couples! The red section has its money on (male celebrity) and his wife, (name). The yellow section backs (male celebrity) and his wife, (name). The blue section is betting on (male celebrity) and his wife, (name). As we play the game of celebrity gossip, Tattletales! On the first few episodes, "red section/yellow section/blue section" were "rooting section number one/two/three" respectively, and by 1975, the introduction of the panel was done away with entirely. The 1980s revival shortened it even further to "It's the game of celebrity gossip, Tattletales!"
- Panty Shot: Implied. Elaine Joyce, wife of actor/singer Bobby Van, responded to a question that she was very popular with boys when she was a little girl in school because "I showed my panties a lot!"
- Writers Cannot Do Math: At the end of each show, the highest-scoring couple received a $1,000 bonus. If two couples tied for the high score, each received a $500 bonus. A three-way tie was more...problematic, getting rounded up to $334.