ABC Daytime: 7/18/1977 – 1/13/1978
|Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions|
"It's men versus women, in a battle of the sexes. (insert theme music scatting) Women or men, which is… THE BETTER SEX! And here are the stars of The Better Sex, Bill Anderson and Sarah Purcell!"
Two teams (one composed of six men and the other of six women) competed against each other in a game of bluffs & surveys. The object of the game was to fool the opposing sex/team and eliminating them.
One member of the team in control was in what was known as "the attack position". He/She was asked a question after which he/she was given a card which contained the correct answer and a bluff. The player had to then decide which answer to use to fool the other team.
NOTE: Some questions had more than two possiblities, and contestants sometimes gave an answer that wasn't on the card. In these cases, the offscreen judge would remind them to use an answer on the card; otherwise, the question was thrown out.
After the player announced his/her choice, up to three members of the opposing team decided to either agree or disagree on the given answer. As soon as two of the team members went with the same judgment, the correct answer was revealed. If the two opposing team members were wrong, they were fooled and they were knocked out of the game; if the two opposing team members were right, they stayed in the game and the attacking contestant was knocked out along with another player of the opposing team's choice; upon the latter, the opposing team then took control.
When a team was down to two players and could not agree whether an answer was correct or a bluff, the first contestant polled was given the option to change his/her judgment or stay with his/her original choice; whatever choice was made, that was the team's guess.
The first team to knock out the other team won the game, $1,000, and advanced to the $5,000 bonus game to play against the audience of the opposite sex.
The winning team faced 30 studio audience members of the opposite sex. Each team member had only one chance to knock out as many audience members as possible. They were each asked a question after which they were given a card with the correct answer only. If they wished to use it, they did, but if they didn't, they could make up a bluff answer. After a contestant gave an answer, the audience members voted to either agree or disagree on the answer using their electronic paddles. After that, the correct answer was revealed and the audience members who voted incorrectly were eliminated and sat back down. Audience members who did not vote by the buzzer were automatically eliminated. After six questions, if there were any audience members left standing, the contestants lost the bonus game and those surviving audience members split $500 between them; if all 30 audience members were eliminated within six questions, however, the contestants won $5,000.
Championship teams stayed on the show until they lost twice.
The game was mostly the same except that there were seven members of each gendered team instead of six and the contestant card had just the correct answer. The objective on each question was to knock out at least half of the team. There was no choice of an additional contestant should the attack contestant be knocked out. Finally, there was no reward for winning the game.
In the pilot bonus game, the winning team faced 70 members of the studio audience consisting of both sexes, not 30 of the opposite sex. Each audience member knocked out awarded $10 to the contestants should they lose the bonus round and the surviving audience members still shared a $500 pot after seven questions were played; if all 70 audience members were eliminated within seven questions, the contestants won $7,000.
"Hormonal Imbalance" by John F. Grimsby for Score Productions
Countries that have previously aired their versions of The Better Sex include:
- United Kingdom
This show marked the game show debuts of Sarah Purcell & Bill Anderson. Sarah went on to host the successful NBC show Real People, while Bill continued to make country music and hosted the TNN game show Fandango along the way. In 1979, a year after the show was cancelled, Sarah and Bill appeared together for a week on Password Plus.