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Ripleys Believe It or Not

Definition: Ripley's Believe It or Not! is a franchise, founded by Robert Ripley, which deals in bizarre events and items so strange and unusual that readers might question the claims.

 

Ripley's Believe It or Not! is a franchise, founded by Robert Ripley, which deals in bizarre events and items so strange and unusual that readers might question the claims. The Believe It or Not panel proved popular and was later adapted into a wide variety of formats, including radio, television, comic books, a chain of museums and a book series.

The Ripley collection includes 20,000 photographs, 30,000 artifacts and more than 100,000 cartoon panels. With 80-plus attractions, the Orlando-based Ripley Entertainment, Inc., a division of the Jim Pattison Group, is a global company with an annual attendance of more than 12 million guests. Ripley Entertainment's publishing and broadcast divisions oversee numerous projects, including the syndicated TV series, the newspaper cartoon panel, books, posters and games.

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.

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 (decade), 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.

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