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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.
  • 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.
  • Advertisement:
  • 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 pilot.
  • 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, twice.