What's My Line? (1968)
From The TV IV
What's My Line? is the syndicated daytime revival of the original 1950-67 CBS primetime game show of the same name. This version of the series ran from 1968 to 1975.
As with the original version, the revival had a panel of noted personalities asking yes-or-no questions to a contestant in trying to find out his/her unusual line of work. A panelist continued to ask questions as long as "yes" answers were given. In the beginning, "No" answers awarded the contestant $5 a piece and the questioning passed to the next panelist and up to ten "no" answers were allowed, but the money aspect of that round was later dropped.
The last segment was the "Mystery Guest," in which the panel--now blindfolded--had to use their questioning to determine the identity of a famous celebrity. The celebrity guest would usually disguise his/her voice to make it less easy for the panel. A panelist who made a wrong guess was forced out of play in that segment in the syndicated version. In addition, a new segment called "Who's Who", where four contestants appeared on stage holding cards with occupations on them and the panelists would guess which contestant had the correct occupation, was occasionally played during the show's run to fill in time when needed.
Arlene Francis, one of the panelists from the original show, returned, and a new regular panelist, comedian Soupy Sales, joined. Original panelist Bennett Cerf also made appearances as a recurring panelist until his death in 1971. Wally Bruner hosted this version from 1968 to 1972, then comic actor Larry Blyden replaced him from 1972 to 1975. Also, an animated opening that was originally used for the final two seasons of the CBS version was used to open the syndicated revival, accompanied by a new opening theme song created by Score Productions.
What's My Line? became a staple of the lineups of many stations in the afternoons and early evenings, particularly so beginning in 1971 when the Federal Communications Commission ordered the then-Big Three networks to hand over the 7:30-8 p.m. time slot to their affiliates as part of the FCC's new Prime Time Access Rule. The show ended its syndicated run in 1975 when few stations that ran What's My Line? expressed interest in continuing to carry it in their lineups.
Goodson-Todman Productions produced What's My Line?, with distribution originally handled by CBS Films until 1971, then by that company's successor, Viacom, until the show ended production. FremantleMedia now owns and distributes the series due to its ownership of the Goodson-Todman catalogue.
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series