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 1958–1961. Bill Leyden was the host, and Wendell Niles was the announcer.
|It Could Be You|
Bill Leyden in 1961.
|Presented by||Bill Leyden|
|Narrated by||Wendell Niles|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6 (daytime)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original release||June 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".
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.
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 daily daytime version of the show premiered June 4, 1956 on the NBC daytime schedule in the 12:30–1 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.
The weekly evening version of the show premiered July 2, 1958, in the 10:30–11 PM (EST) timeslot on Wednesday nights, where it continued until September 1958.
The weekly evening show began again in November 1958 in a new timeslot, 8:30–9 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.
In September 1959, the weekly evening show appeared in another new timeslot, 10:30–11 PM (EST) on Saturday nights, until January 1960. The evening show was not broadcast in the summer of 1960.
The evening show did not appear within the 1960–61 season.
The evening show began again June 1961 in a fourth timeslot, 10–10:30 PM (EST) on Wednesday nights. The last prime time show was broadcast September 27, 1961.
Although the viewing public enjoyed the show and appreciated host Bill Leyden's quick wit, critics of daytime television found fault with what they called the patronizing and condescending behavior the host had toward the women brought on stage.
- Brooks, Tim and March, Earl (2007) "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946–Present", Random House, p. page 507
- Online archive of review of "It Could Be You" newspaper article in Ocala Star-Banner (September 25, 1960), page 53
- "It Could Be You" webpage on Steve McQueen Online website
- Television Highlights article in Deseret (Utah) News (September 1, 1956) page 7 in the online Google archive
- Cassidy, Marsha Francis (2005) "What Women Watched: Daytime Television in the 1950s" University of Texas Press ISBN 0-292-70627-8, pages 195-202