To Tell the Truth 1990 Pilot
Pilot, 1990 (Aired accidentally on the east coast instead of premiere.)
NBC Daytime, September 3, 1990 – May 31, 1991
Run time
30 Minutes
Richard Kline 1990 Pilot
Gordon Elliott 1990
Lynn Swann 1990-1991
Alex Trebek 1991
Charlie O'Donnell (1990 Pilot)
Burton Richardson (1990-1991)
NBC Studio 3, Burbank, California

This is chronicling the 1990 version of To Tell the Truth.

Game formatEdit

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". 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 $500 but the least they can take home is $1000 should they get zero, one or two incorrect votes, three incorrect votes won the team challengers $1500 and if the panel was stumped, the challengers win a total $3000.

Panelist's DisqualificationEdit

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.

One on OneEdit

After two regular games of To Tell the Truth were played, one special game was played called "One on One".

A member of the studio audience faced a brand new contestant who told two stories (which appeared in single words (sometimes phrases) to the home viewers), one of them being the truth. All the audience member had to do was spot the true story. To help out, the panel will each ask a single question about each story. When the cross-examination was done, the audience member made his/her decision as to which is the true story afterwhich the contestant revealed the true story by saying "To tell the truth... (insert correct story)". A correct decision won the audience member $500, but an incorrect decision won the contestant $1,000.



  • Mark Goodson was a sub-host in 1991.
  • This was Burton Richardson's first version of Truth as the announcer, his second and final version of Truth as announcer was for the two-seasoned only syndicated version in 2000.
  • Along with becoming one of the panelists in both the pilot and actual series, Lynn Swann was the first African-American host of Truth despite it's short-lived run on the network, the second is Anthony Anderson for the ABC Primetime version in 2016.


no merchandise


Set ModelEdit

This model was created prior to the set construction so M.G. could approve the set design. Mark preferred a complete model to a set rendering or two so all the camera shots, logistics of the set etc could be planned in advance. Some shows the entire audience was included in the model when the audience was part of the show (The Price is Right, The Better Sex, etc.) Ted Cooper worked for first Goodson-Todman and then Mark Goodson Productions from 1960 until the company was sold after Mark's death. As, among other things, the In-house set designer, Ted designed virtually all the sets from 1960 to the early 1970's until the company's creative teams moved to California, which was a different union. Ted oversaw all set designs however, and he enjoyed making a set model for each design, no matter who the designer was.

Episode StatusEdit

See Also: To Tell the Truth (1990)/Episode Guide
This series exists in its entirety, and has aired on GSN in the past.


To Tell the Truth (1990) Pilot22:37

To Tell the Truth (1990) Pilot

To Tell the Truth 199021:00

To Tell the Truth 1990

To Tell The Truth (1991)21:32

To Tell The Truth (1991)

Randy West on To Tell the Truth06:17

Randy West on To Tell the Truth

To Tell the Truth promo 1, 199000:11

To Tell the Truth promo 1, 1990

To Tell the Truth promo 2, 199000:22

To Tell the Truth promo 2, 1990

See AlsoEdit

To Tell the Truth (1956)
To Tell the Truth (1969)
To Tell the Truth (1980)
To Tell the Truth (2000)
To Tell the Truth (2016)

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