I've Got a Secret

2000-2002 (Oxygen, Stephanie Miller)

In 1992, the Carsey-Werner company acquired the rights to the I've Got A Secret format in the hopes of launching a new syndicated version in the fall of 1993 .  That version never got off the ground.  In 2000, now expanded to Carsey-Werner-Mandebach, the company was a key player in the development of the new Oxygen cable channel. (Oprah Winfrey was the far more famous name associated with the project.)  Front and center among the new channel's new offerings was a daily version of I've Got a Secret, the first reboot of the show in nearly a quarter century.

Comedian Stephanie Miller was the host for this new version, and the panel frequently consisted of Amy Yasbeck (the competitor), Jim J Bullock (the goofball), Teri Garr (the star) and Jason Kravits (the other one).  Miller had made a name for herself as a radio and TV talk show host in the 1990s, and would return to that line of work following this little foray.  Today, her Stephanie Miller Show bills itself as "the number one progressive morning show in America."   Yasbeck was best known for a multi-season run as Casey Davenport on the sitcom Wings, as well as for having been married to TV icon John Ritter.   Bullock had appeared on the 80s sitcom Too Close for Comfort and had raised his profile even further later in that decade as a regular on Hollywood Squares.  Garr was arguably the best known of the quartet (billed in the opening as "our own personal movie star"), having been in some of the biggest comedy films of the 1970s and 1980s, including Young Frankenstein, Oh, God! and Tootsie.  Kravits had the slimmest resume of the group at the time (he was appearing occasionally on the legal drama The Practice), but would go on to have a prolific career in television and film, in both comedic and dramatic roles.

Instead of the traditional setup of desks and chairs, the set for this version was designed to look like a high-end Manhattan high-rise apartment.  The idea was that it was Miller's pad, and she had invited her friends over to play the game.  Guests entered through the "elevator" and everyone sat casually on a sofa and chairs.  One newspaper story in 2003 said they made 120 episodes of this version, so we'll go with that figure.  Whatever the exact total, this would end up being the most successful reboot of Secret in terms of episodes aired.  In a nod to the original series, one special episode featured Steve Allen and Betsy Palmer as guests.  It was one of Steve's last TV appearances.

Here's one of the few episodes available on YouTube, with a special guest!