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 they called "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. Then 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 contestants and could not agree whether an answer was correct or a bluff, the second contestant was given a chance to convince the first contestant that he or she was correct. If they still disagreed with each other, the answer given by the first of the two contestants was taken.
The first team to knock out the other team won the game, $1,000, and went to the $5,000 bonus game playing 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 he/she could. 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 wrong were eliminated and sat back down. Audience members who did not vote were automatically eliminated. After six questions, if there were any audience members left standing, the winning team lost the bonus game and the surviving audience members split $500 between them, but if all 30 audience members were eliminated in six questions or fewer, the winning team won $5,000.
Championship teams stayed on the show until losing two games.
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 about 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 winning team should they lose the bonus and the surviving audience members still shared a $500 pot after seven questions were exhausted; if all 70 audience members were eliminated in seven questions or less, the winning team won $7,000.
"Hormonal Imbalance" by John F. Grimsby for Score Productions
The status of this show is unknown. The pilot and finale exist among traders. Two general episodes have aired on GSN.
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.