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Series / The Better Sex

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Game Show created by Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions in which two teams (six men vs. six women) played general-knowledge and survey questions, with one team attempting to bluff the other into a right answer. Whichever team knocked out the other won $1,000 and a shot at $5,000 in the Bonus Round.

The show aired on ABC from July 18, 1977 to January 13, 1978 and was unusual in that it had two hosts: Country Music singer Bill Anderson (who later hosted TNN's long-running game Fandango), and former talk show host Sarah Purcell. The show's director and producer was Paul Alter.

The Better Sex was one of the shows skewered by the GSN original Faux Pause in 1998. It was also featured on the 2000 BBC special TV's Finest Failures, which wouldn't have been so much of an issue (the show only ran six months, after all) had the special not been about unsold pilots primarily from the UK and US (to add insult to injury, the Better Sex clips weren't even from one of its pilots - they were from the series, and in fact were from the same episode Faux Pause had tackled!).

This show provides examples of:

  • The Announcer: Goodson-Todman stalwart Gene Wood.
  • Blinking Lightsof Victory: When a game was decided in favor of either sex/gender, the orange arrow lights pointing to the side representing that sex/gender would pulsate, one of the two copies of the Better word in the title (one for each sex/gender) would slide over to the winning side, the Family Feud winning bells would play, and there would be a few peppy seconds of the theme music (the lights on the front of the winning side's podiums would pulsate as well).
  • Bonus Round: An unusual variant involving 30 opposite-sex members from the studio audience. Each team member was asked a question, which was then asked of the members as well. Any member could agree or disagree with the answer given, and they sat down if wrong. Play continued for six questions or until the entire audience was eliminated. Any left standing after six questions split $500.
  • Opening Narration: "It's men versus women in a battle of the sexes!" (portion of theme song gibberish plays amid vignettes of Anderson and Purcell "arguing") "Women or men, which is the better sex?"
  • Pilot: Three were shot on April 28, 1977 and were pretty much the same as the series except each team had seven people, the bonus round involved 70 audience members (a mix of both males and females), and winning it awarded $7,000.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Invoked in the TV Guide listings. Normally, the magazine removes the word "The" if it's in the beginning of a title...but they realized that people might be turned off by seeing "Better Sex" in the listings, so "The" was maintained.
  • Stock Footage: The shots of Bill & Sarah nagging at each other in the intro were lifted directly from the pilots.
  • Studio Audience: Used in the bonus round.
  • Surreal Theme Tune: "Hormonal Imbalance", by John Franklin Grimsley...which is male and females singing in scat.
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: Despite the show's brevity, thrice.
    • An Australian version aired on the Nine Network in Summer 1977 or 1978.
    • There were two British versions. The first one aired on STV in 1978, then moved to Thames. The second one went by the name "Who's Bluffing Who?", and ran for a brief period in 1991.
    • And there was even a French version, ''Question de Charme'', on Antenne 2, with Daniela Lumbroso and Georges Beller, from July 1991 to February 1992.