'When you least expect it, you're elected" . . . to host the latest revival of "Candid Camera," the genial hidden-camera show generally considered TV's first reality series. When TV Land launches the latest iteration Monday at 8 p.m., Mayim Bialik steps into shoes previously worn by Bess Myerson, Dom DeLuise, Suzanne Somers and others.
But the first and most iconic host was series creator Allen Funt. After launching "The Candid Microphone" on radio in 1947, he brought the show to ABC TV in 1948 under that title, changing it to "Candid Camera" when it moved to NBC in 1949. After ending (on CBS) in 1950 and getting briefly revived (on NBC) in 1953, it eventually aired its best-known version: a CBS Sunday night staple from 1960 to 1967.
"The New Candid Camera" played first-run syndication from 1974 to 1978, and after some CBS specials, "Candid Camera" was syndicated in 1991. It ran again on CBS from 1998 to 2000, then on Pax from 2001 to 2005.
The secret to its longevity? As co-host Peter Funt, Allen's son, has said, it's because "we believe people are wonderful, and we're out to confirm it."