(from the Yahoo! Daily News)

By John Dempsey

NEW YORK (Variety) – The game show that led directly to Johnny Carson’s being tapped as host of the “Tonight” show, “Who Do You Trust,” is coming back to TV in a new form 38 years after it vanished from ABC’s daytime schedule.

The format features two couples who chat with the host for a while. Each couple then decides whether the male or the female should answer the quiz questions.

David Stanley, one of the producers of the update, said that back in the early ’60s, “The male was entrusted to answer the questions 90% of the time. That’s one of the first things we’re going to change in the year 2001.”

He added the producers were in talks to hire “a major personality” as host. “We want it to be more of a talkshow than a gameshow,” he added.

Stone Stanley Entertainment, which Stanley runs with Scott Stone, teamed up with Sid & Marty Krofft Picture Corp. to buy the rights to the series from Don Fedderson Prods.

Stone said he’s looking for a larger-than-life performer like Rosie O’Donnell to turn the series into a vehicle, enhancing the humor of the byplay between the host and the guest couples and downplaying the game, just as Carson did when he hosted the series between 1958 and 1962. Carson and his ”Trust” sidekick Ed McMahon went directly from “Trust” to “Tonight” in 1962.

Once the host comes on board and tapes a pilot, the partners will pitch it as a five-day-a-week project in syndication or basic cable, Stanley said. Depending on the marquee value of the personality, the show also could get a hearing from one of the broadcast networks as a weekly primetime vehicle, Stone said.