Air in Primetime, Thursday Nights | 8:30PM ET/PT
Candid Camera, the first and longest running reality-based comedy program, premiered on ABC in August 1948 under its original radio title Candid Microphone. The format of the program featured footage taken by a hidden camera of everyday people caught in hoaxes devised by the show's host, Allen Funt.
The program ultimately changed its name to Candid Camera when it moved to NBC in 1949 but only gained a permanent time slot when the show moved to CBS in 1960. For the next seven seasons, Candid Camera consistently rated as one of television's top ten shows. Funt was frequently joined by guest hosts, including the first Jewish Miss America, Bess Myerson.
The scenarios designed and recorded by Funt and his crew offer unique glimpses into the quirks and foibles of human nature never before deliberately captured on film. Candid Camera ultimately spawned a new genre of "reality programming" in the late 1980s, including shows as America's Funniest Home Videos and Totally Hidden Video. Today, many television historians consider Candid Camera to be the grandfather of the modern reality genre.