I've Got a Secret (1952)

CBS (ended 1976)


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I've Got a Secret (1952)

Show Summary

On the heels of the successful What's My Line?, Goodson-Todman Productions created this spin-off of sorts, I've Got a Secret. This show, which featured a four-member celebrity panel trying to guess a contestant's secret, proved even more successful in its 16-Season period on CBS-TV.

Throughout most of the run, the four-member panel included Bill Cullen, Henry Morgan, Betsy Palmer and Bess Myerson. Their distinct personalities complemented each other and provided a successful chemistry throughout the run. Other frequent guests were Faye Emerson and Jayne Meadows.

Host & The Star of "I've Got A Secret" Garry Moore (who had his own daytime TV series, not unlike today's Live with Regis and Kelly) introduced a guest (or more often than not, team of guests), who whispered his/her/their secret in Moore's ear; the secret was then shown on-screen to the home audience. One at a time, each panelist had 30 seconds to question the guest(s) in an attempt to guess the secret. For each panelist who failed to guess the secret, the player(s) was/were paid $20 and up to a maximum total of $80 (early in the show's run, the panelists had two questioning opportunites each, and it was $10 per panelist who failed to guess after 15 seconds). Many times after the secret was revealed, Moore interviewed the guest(s) and sometimes they got to demonstrate their skill or other talent associated with the secret.

Once each week, a guest celebrity appeared with a secret of his own. While some secrets were serious and/or inspirational, more often than not, the segment was played for laughs.

Moore left the show in 1964 and to be replaced by former late-night comedian Steve Allen. The show ended its 1st CBS-TV Network run on April 3, 1967.

In 1972, I've Got a Secret returned in syndication as a once-a-week entry. Allen once again hosted with Morgan joining Richard Dawson as regulars on the panel; the other two chairs were filled by rotating guests (though Dawson and Morgan didn't appear each week, either). Everything else remained the same, though most celebrity segments were played for laughs. The syndicated series lasted one year in 1973.

The show returned for a brief network run (on CBS-TV) in the summer of 1976, with Bill Cullen as host. Morgan and Dawson once again returned, flanked by other regulars including Gene Rayburn, Elaine Joyce and Phyllis George.

Most recently, I've Got a Secret returned as a five-a-week entry on the Oxygen network. Hosted by comedienne Stephanie Miller, the show retained the classic rules (except that awards were bumped up to $200 per failed guess and $1000 for an across-the-board stumper). Regulars were Teri Garr, Jm. J. Bullock, Jason Kravits and Amy Yasbeck. In one of his last TV appearances before his death, Allen filled in as host during the summer of 2000; surviving regulars from the original CBS run (including Allen's wife, Jayne Meadows) that've got also made appearances as celebrity guests and panelists. ----------------------------------------------------- "I've Got A Secret" is A Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Production in association with The CBS-TV Network (1952-1976), Metromedia, Inc. (1972-1973) & Oxygen & PEARSON TELEVISION INTERNATIONAL (2000-2006). The Broadcast Report of "I've Got A Secret": June 19, 1952-June 25, 1953 CBS-TV Thursday at 10:30-11:00pm Eastern July 1, 1953-September 6, 1961 CBS-TV Wednesday at 9:30-10:00pm September 11, 1961-September 3, 1962 CBS-TV Monday at 10:30-11:00pm September 10, 1962-September 5, 1966 CBS-TV Monday at 8:00-8:30pm September 12, 1966-April 3, 1967 CBS-TV Monday at 10:30-11:00pm June 15-July 6, 1976 CBS-TV Tuesday at 8:00-8:30pm Syndicated for METROMEDIA TELEVISION and airs weekly at 7:30-8:00pm from September 11, 1972 to September 9, 1973. The Show airs on Oxygen (Cable Network) from February 2000 to April 2006. Ratings History Oct. 1954-Apr. 1955 - #15 Oct. 1955-Apr. 1956 - #9 Oct. 1956-Apr. 1957 - #7 Oct. 1957-Apr. 1958 - #5 Oct. 1958-Apr. 1959 - #9 Oct. 1962-Apr. 1963 - #16 Oct. 1963-Apr. 1964 - #12 Oct. 1965-Apr. 1966 - #20moreless