Q: I'm trying to remember the name of a series from the 1990s. The show would consist of several short narratives of unbelievable stories, and you had to guess if they were true or not. It was hosted by one of the guys from "Star Trek." What was it called

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Believe it or not, despite the basic concept, it wasn't "Ripley's Believe It or Not."

The show you're thinking of was called "Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction," hosted by Jonathan Frakes (though James Brolin hosted the first six episodes). Frakes is best known, as you say, as Cmdr. William Riker on "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

It was reminiscent of the more famous "Ripley's Believe It or Not" shows — both traded on telling hard-to-believe tales to amaze their viewers. But "Beyond Belief" leaned into the "or not" angle, including some false tales and challenging the viewer to spot the difference.

Some of the "Ripley's Believe It or Not" shows (there have been many, and they're just part of the sprawling Ripley media empire) included small features that did the same thing, but it was only ever a sideline. Despite the name, Ripley only ever wanted you to "believe it."

"Beyond Belief," which ran for four seasons on Fox from 1997 to 2002, mixed in some things that shouldn't be believed, thus turning it into a game. Viewers were told the truth at the end.

For the record, some enterprising nerds tallied it up (the show had, and perhaps still has, a strong cult following) and found that 59% of the stories presented over the show's run were true.


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