It Could Be You

It Could Be You is a television game show produced by Ralph Edwards Productions in the late 1950s in the United States, broadcast daily in the weekday daytime schedule for five years 1956–1961, and weekly in the evening on-and-off over three years 19581961. Bill Leyden was the host, and Wendell Niles was the announcer.

It Could Be You
Bill Leyden in 1961.
GenreGame Show
Presented byBill Leyden
Narrated byWendell Niles
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons6 (daytime)
1 (primetime)
Producer(s)Ralph Edwards
Stefan Hatos
Running time30 minutes
Original networkNBC
Original releaseJune 4, 1956 
December 29, 1961


It Could Be You used a variation of the format made famous in another popular show of the time, Queen for a Day, where a woman who had gone through many hardships in her life was selected and awarded prizes. However, It Could Be You, though still awarding prizes, focused most often on a woman's more embarrassing moments for example: being seen by a neighbor while getting out of a bathtub, or engaging in a romantic interlude with a boyfriend while parked next to a bus full of tourists. Sometimes, the contestant had to perform a stunt or activity to claim the prize. The title of the series was part of the show, in that the woman called to the stage was from a studio audience which had been told ... "It Could Be You".[1]

Prizes were often more humorous than useful a woman who complained about moving from city to city so much that she could never get used to her new bathtub received a bathtub on wheels. At times, though, the producers of the show were much more sensitive, bringing about reunions of relatives long thought dead, or re-uniting families torn apart by the Iron Curtain.[2]

Guest celebrities would sometimes appear to aid the host. Among those appearing were:

NBC broadcast both a daily weekday daytime version (1956 through 1961), and a weekly primetime evening version that appeared on various days at various times over the summer of 1958, within the 1958-59 and 1959-60 television seasons, and over the summer of 1961. The show was filmed in Studio 1 of the NBC Studios in Burbank, California.

The producer of the show was Stefan Hatos, best known for his later collaboration with Monty Hall on the famous 1960s and 1970s TV game show Let's Make A Deal.

Daytime schedule

The daily daytime version of the show premiered June 4, 1956 on the NBC daytime schedule in the 12:301 PM (EST) timeslot, and continued every weekday at that time through December 30, 1961.

Prime time schedule

The primetime evening version of the show was also broadcast by NBC.

Summer 1958

The weekly evening version of the show premiered July 2, 1958, in the 10:3011 PM (EST) timeslot on Wednesday nights, where it continued until September 1958.

195859 season

The weekly evening show began again in November 1958 in a new timeslot, 8:309 PM (EST) on Thursday nights, and continued there until the end of March 1959. The evening show was not broadcast in the summer of 1959.

195960 season

In September 1959, the weekly evening show appeared in another new timeslot, 10:3011 PM (EST) on Saturday nights, until January 1960. The evening show was not broadcast in the summer of 1960.

196061 season

The evening show did not appear within the 196061 season.

Summer 1961

The evening show began again June 1961 in a fourth timeslot, 1010:30 PM (EST) on Wednesday nights. The last prime time show was broadcast September 27, 1961.

Critical reception

Although the viewing public enjoyed the show and appreciated host Bill Leyden's quick wit,[4] critics of daytime television found fault with what they called the patronizing and condescending behavior the host had toward the women brought on stage.[5]


  1. Brooks, Tim and March, Earl (2007) "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946Present", Random House, p. page 507
  2. Online archive of review of "It Could Be You" newspaper article in Ocala Star-Banner (September 25, 1960), page 53
  3. "It Could Be You" webpage on Steve McQueen Online website
  4. Television Highlights article in Deseret (Utah) News (September 1, 1956) page 7 in the online Google archive
  5. Cassidy, Marsha Francis (2005) "What Women Watched: Daytime Television in the 1950s" University of Texas Press ISBN 0-292-70627-8, pages 195-202
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