Battle of the Sexes is unarguably the first game show where men competed against women.
NBC Radio (Weekly): 9/20/1938 – 8/31/1943
Blue Network (Weekly): 9/1/1943 – 2/2/1944
Frank Crumit and Julia Sanderson (1938–1942)
Jay C. Flippen and Walter O'Keefe (1942–1944)
This show, as quoted by the producers, as "designed to prove once and for all" which gender was smarter. Crumit was captain of the male team, while Sanderson was the captain of the female team. Each team captain took in turns asking questions the other team's contestants. The first player to buzz in with the correct answer scored points for his/her team, and the team with the highest score were the winners. Each member of the winning team received a wristwatch as a prize.
In July 1942, when World War II was getting serious, the format changed as well as Crumit and Sanderson being replaced Flippen and O'Keefe. In this version, played in a spelling bee format, men from the armed forces competed against female war workers, as well as women from USOs and canteens. Correct answers awarded war bonds and cash prizes.
Frank Crumit and Julia Sanderson were a husband-wife team that was popular from the early days of radio broadcasting.