Ripley's Believe It or Not! is a documentary television series based on the newspaper feature that aired in three incarnations.
The first Believe It or Not TV series, a live show hosted by Robert L. Ripley, premiered on NBC television March 1, 1949. Shortly after the 13th episode, on May 27, 1949, Ripley died of a heart attack and several of his friends substituted as host, including future Ripley's Believe It or Not! president Doug Storer. Robert St. John served as host from the second season until the series ended on October 5, 1950.
In 1956, ABC Films Syndication had John Gibbs and Meridian Pictures prepare a Ripley's Believe It or Not! TV pilot.
Ripley's Believe It or Not! later returned to television in a second series from 1982 to 1986 on the American ABC network. Character actor Jack Palance hosted the popular series throughout its run, while three different co-hosts appeared from season to season, including Palance's daughter, Holly Palance, actress Catherine Shirriff, and singer Marie Osmond. The 1980s series reran on the Sci-fi Channel (UK) and Sci-fi Channel (US) during the 1990s.
In the 2000s, a new series was produced for TBS with actor Dean Cain and field correspondent Kelly Packard as hosts. Each new episode opens with an act involving the audience. The show also features such regular elements as "Spot the Not," a weekly trivia segment in which viewers are challenged to pick the claim that is not real and a special "Ripley's Record" commemoration for people who break a world record while appearing on the show. Reruns of the 2000 version of the show began airing on Chiller, and Space (as of 2012) in Canada.