Tattletales, billed as "the game of celebrity gossip," pitted three celebrity couples predicting how well they know each other and winning money for the studio audience. Bert Convy was the host.
The show had two formats, the second format was employed four months after the show premiered. The first format, taken directly from its 1969 syndicated predecessor He Said, She Said, had one spouse from each couple on stage and the other backstage, seen only via a TV monitor on the couple's podiums. Once the secluded spouse is off the monitor and out of earshot, a question is posed, such as "Something that makes you amorous," or "The time you forgot your spouse's birthday." The first stage spouse who has a story to relate rings in and tells that story. The spouse now must give a one or two-word clue that his/her mate will identify. One-word clues are worth $100 to that spouse's section of the audience; two-word clues are worth $50. The mates on the monitors are brought back, and Bert Convy reads the question and the clue word. The spouse that recognizes the clue rings in and must match his/her mate's story. Correctly doing so wins the money.
Two such questions are played, followed by a "Quickie," a question posed to the secluded mate, and the on-stage mate must predict what his/her secluded mate will say. Matching responses score $100. At the halfway point of the show, the mates switch places. The couple with the highest score at the end wins a $1000 bonus for their audience section, divided evenly among those members.
In June, 1974, the "Quickie" format became the show's regular format, with matching responses now worth a share of $150 (If all three couples score, each get $50; if two score it's $75, and if one couple scores alone, they win the entire $150). If all three couples miss a question, that $150 carries over into the next question. The final question is worth $300 (more in case of carry-overs).
Very briefly early in 1975, the show tried a new element. With all three celebrity couples on stage, a representative of each audience section predicted how each spouse playing for them answered a yes-or-no question with each correct prediction worth $50.
Tattletales was the afternoon companion show to Match Game on CBS, airing immediately afterwards at 4 PM Eastern. In 1975, it was moved to 11 AM Eastern, then to 3:30 PM eight weeks later (after a jostling of shows, which put Match Game at 3 PM), then back to 4 PM, and finally it lived its last four months at 10 AM. A syndicated nighttime edition aired for the 1977-78 season. CBS brought Tattletales back on January 18, 1982 after a series of 4 PM shows failed to click. That series ran to June 1, 1984.
The show had its very beginnings in 1963, where it was being developed for NBC as It Had To Be You. It was shelved but was dusted off in 1969 as He Said, She Said, hosted by Joe Garagiola. In 1973, the format was revived again, this time under the name Celebrity Match Mates, with Gene Rayburn as host. However, Gene landed CBS's Match Game revival, so the job went to Bert Convy and the show renamed Tattletales.
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- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
A DVD set, The Best Of Tattletales was originally slated for a March 2009 release, but that has since been scuttled as the company to have released it, BCI-Eclipse, folded.