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What’s My Line? (CBS 1950-1975 with Steve Allen)

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“Is it bigger than a breadbox?”

When you’re restricted to yes and no questions, sometimes you have to get a little creative with your queries, which was what What’s My Line? regular panelist Steve Allen was doing with the above. Don’t scoff—plenty of other panelists would enlist the same question in later shows, because somehow, the word “breadbox” always got some laughs. Producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman were responsible for game shows like I’ve Got a SecretTo Tell the Truth and Match Game, but none were as successful asWhat’s My Line?. It was the longest-running primetime game show, airing on Sunday nights for a whopping seventeen years.

The driving concept behind the game came along when a colleague of Goodson and Todman’s bet them that he could guess the occupations of complete strangers, using only yes and no questions. That idea spurred a series proposal called “Occupation Unknown,” which later became What’s My Line?

The show assembled a panel of famed or semi-famed personalities, who tried to discover the odd vocations of guests, or the products associated with their jobs. The contestants received five dollars for every ‘no’ answer they doled out, and if they hit ten, they won the game. Each panelist, meanwhile, could continue asking questions until he received a ‘no’ answer, and then it was the next panelist’s turn.

The first contestant was an easy-on-the-eyes blond hatcheck girl from the Stork Club. And the first panelists were a psychiatrist, a poet, a former New Jersey governor, and a newspaper columnist. Obviously, these were no bubbleheads—the show’s panelists were notoriously quick on their feet, and often quite racy. In the final round of each game, the panelists donned blindfolds and chipped away at the identities of celebrity mystery guests, who tried, with varying success, to disguise their voices—Frank Sinatra, Warren Beatty, Walt Disney, Elizabeth Taylor and Alfred Hitchcock were just a few.

John Daly was the host for the seventeen network years, also reading the evening news for ABC during part of that time. In 1967, the show left the network and was resurrected in syndication, with two new hosts. It wasn’t as erudite as before, but there were still a lot of laughs—holdover firecrackers Arlene Francis and Soupy Sales were regulars.

What’s My Line? mixed celebrities and everyday folk, smarts with smart acres, and the mix worked, for years and years and years. ‘Yes and No’ question games were probably never this fun again, and breadboxes were certainly never this funny (or oft-referenced).

Release History
2/16/50 – 9/3/67 CBS
1968 – 1975 syndicated
 Sub Categories
game shows
 Network
CBS, syndicated
 Studio
Mark Goodson/Bill Todman Productions
 Cast
Panelist Arlene Francis
Panelist (1950-65) Dorothy Kilgallen
Panelist (1950-51) Louis Untermeyer
Panelist (1950-53) Hal Block
Panelist (1951-67) Bennett Cerf
Panelist (1953-54) Steve Allen
Panelist (1954-56) Fred Allen
 
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Royal Christmas Ball, A (ION 2017, Tara Reid, Ingo Rademacher)

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Royal Christmas Ball ION

Dateless for the Christmas ball, 39-year-old bachelor, King Charles of Baltania, tracks down his American college sweetheart, only to discover Allison has never been married, yet raised a 17-year-old daughter, Lily, who mathematically might be Charles’ biological princess.

cast
Tara Reid as Allison
Ingo Rademacher as King Charles
Mira Furlan as Rosa
Haley Pullos as Lily
Faune Chambers Watkins as Eva
Mykel Shannon Jenkins as Sam
Marc Anthony Samuel as Marcus
Christian Olivo as Victor
Miles Burris as Emile
Kennedy Lea Slocum as Taylor
Claire Cohen as Lorena
David Meza as Waiter
Cesar Cipriano as Florist
Stan Bly as Paparazzi
Brian Nolan as Paparazzi

crew details
Director: David DeCoteau
Writer: Suzanne Dunn
Story: Jeffrey Schenck, Peter Sullivan

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: ION – Hybrid Films
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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Runaway Christmas Bride (ION 2017, Cindy Busny, Travis Milne)

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Runaway Christmas Bride ION 2017

A runaway bride, Kate, making herself scarce for the holidays, meets a ski patrol rescuer, Jason, at a resort. Her December days begin to brighten, until her parents and jilted fiancé, Alex, show up at the mountain to reset the wedding for Christmas.

cast
Cindy Busby as Kate
Travis Milne as Jason
Christos Shaw as Mike
Karen Kruper as Lily Paulson
Mark Milburn as Alex Atkins
Bruce Dawson as Rick Atkins
Roz Murray as Kim Atkins
Trent Pryor as Wedding Rehersal Guest
Holly James as Wedding Guest

crew details
Director: David DeCoteau
Writer: Brian Skiba

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: ION – Odyssey Media
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Saturday 9 December 2017

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Christmas Encore (HMC 2017, Erin Agostino, Marie Dame)

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Christmas Encore Hallmark 2017

In Christmas Encore a struggling actress is cast in her last off (off) Broadway show – a modern take on “A Christmas Carol” – before giving up her dream and moving home.

Instead, she finds romance with her director and a renewed passion for her craft and the city. But when the historic theater loses its lease and the show is set to fold, she and her cast mates are need of a Christmas miracle.

cast
Erin Agostino as Morgan
Marie Dame as Ellen Lambert
Brennan Elliott as Julian Walker
Maggie Lawson as Charlotte Lacy
Mélanie St-Pierre as Samantha Cross

crew details
Director: Bradley Walsh
Writer: Jennifer Notas Shapiro

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Hallmark Movie Channel
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Saturday 9 December 2017

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