Smile — “Candid Camera” is back in business, this time with TV Land and Electus.
The Viacom cabler has ordered 10 new episodes of the enduring hidden-camera series that has been on TV on and off since 1948, following its birth on radio in 1947 as “Candid Microphone.” The series is targeted for a summer run.
Peter Funt, longtime producer and son of series creator Allen Funt (who died in 1999), is exec producing and will co-host. Ben Silverman’s Electus is producing the new episodes and working with Funt’s Candid Camera Inc. to shop the format overseas.
“Candid Camera” is one of the few shows to have aired on CBS, NBC and ABC over its run to date. The series most recently ran on what was then Pax TV (now Ion TV) but has been out of production since 2004. Silverman and Funt hit it off when they connected through Funt’s reps at WME after Silverman went searching for the rights to the format.
Funt emphasizes that “Candid Camera” has always strived to shed light on human nature through its set-ups and contrived situations. It’s not about humiliating or embarrassing people on camera.
” ‘Candid Camera’ is all about the zeitgeist,” Funt told Variety. “What we do tells us a lot about the intellectual, cultural and moral climate of our times.”
Silverman called the show “one of the great franchises of TV” with potential to blossom in international markets.
Funt promised some new “bells and whistles” for the TV Land episodes but the basic format remains capturing people in humorous or trying situations that end with an actor, or as Funt calls them, “provocateurs,” delivering the trademark line: “Smile, you’re on ‘Candid Camera.’ ”
Dina Eastwood was the co-host with Funt for the last batch of episodes in 2003-2004. There’s no word yet on his new on-air partner, but Funt said they are in talks with a few candidates.
(Pictured: Allen Funt and Arthur Godfrey circa 1961)