ABC went back to the past for its two new series which premiered this week, the game show “To Tell The Truth” and the comedy “Uncle Buck.”
On “To Tell The Truth,” actress Betty White is among the regular panelists and “black-ish” star Anthony Anderson is the host.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be fresh, yet familiar.”
Actress and television personality NeNe Leakes and NBA analyst Jalen Rose are the other regular panelists. Tracee Ellis Ross, who portrays the wife of Anderson’s character on “black-ish,’ was the guest panelist on the first episode.
Anderson’s mother, Doris, will be the official scorekeeper, ask questions of her own and embarrass “her son every chance she gets,” according to ABC.
Cheche and his Band of Liars will be the house band. Every episode will end with a stunt or performance.
The panelist who performs the worst will have to tweet a lie about themselves that they can’t deny for 24 hours.
“We’re not playing for money,” Anderson said. “We’re playing not to humiliate ourselves on television.”
“To Tell The Truth” initially ran in prime time on CBS from 1956-67. White was an occasional panelist. Versions later ran in syndication and in daytime on NBC.
The concept of the ABC version will remain unchanged from the original—a four-person panel will question three people who all claim to be the same person with the same incredible talent, job or achievement, then determine who is the actual person in question. The actual person is required to tell the truth, while the imposters are not.
Anderson said he and his mother do not know who the actual person in question is before it is revealed to the audience.
“I’m playing the game along in my head because I want to figure out who is telling the truth and who is telling the lie,” Anderson said.
The guests on the first episode included America’s fastest texter, the high school boyfriend of singer Taylor Swift and a contortionist.
Back-to-back episodes of “Uncle Buck,” based on the 1989 film starring John Candy and directed by John Hughes also aired. The new version stars Mike Epps in the Candy role, a hustler who becomes the nanny for the three children of his brother (James Lesure), and sister-in-law, Alexis (Nia Long).
The series is the result of executive producer Will Packer’s desire to produce a family show and thought a series based on the film “would feel very contemporary, very authentic, very organic,” Packer said during ABC’s portion of the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour.
“We play with the same juxtaposition of somebody from a very different world, this family that’s very traditional and has it all together and is doing things a certain way, and this character comes in and mixes it all up,” said Packer, who was an executive producer of the 2015 film “Straight Outta Compton” and the recent reimagined version of “Roots.”
This is the second attempt at adapting “Uncle Buck” for television. The first was on CBS during the 1990-91 season and starred stand-up comedian Kevin Meaney. It ran for 16 episodes before being canceled, with six episodes that were filmed but never aired. Packer and fellow executive producer Brian Bradley both said they did not see the CBS version when they were preparing their version.