Betty White hosting Just Men!
|Created by||Rick Rosner|
|Directed by||Bill Foster|
|Presented by||Betty White|
|Narrated by||Steve Day|
|Theme music composer||Stormy Sacks|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||65|
|Executive producer(s)||Rick Rosner|
|Running time||24 mins.|
Century Towers Productions|
|Original release||January 3 – April 1, 1983|
The show was created and produced by Rick Rosner, who was producing CHiPs at the time for NBC, and was a production of Rosner Television, Century Towers Productions, and Orion Television. This was one of two collaborations between the three entities; Rosner later was responsible for a revival of another NBC show, Hollywood Squares, which he co-produced with Century Towers with Orion distributing.
Two female contestants, one usually a returning champion, competed.
The object of the game was for the women to correctly predict answers to questions posed to a panel of seven celebrities, all of whom were men (hence the name of the show). With these predictions, the women attempted to earn keys. One of the keys started a car, and White demonstrated this with the actual key at the start of each program. She would drop it into a clear plastic box along with six other keys, and the keys would slide down a series of slopes inside the box and come out in an opening on its bottom. With all seven keys now shuffled and nobody knowing where the correct one was, White took them out of the box and handed one to each of the panelists.
In the first round, the panel had been asked a yes or no question to which at least two celebrities had answered "yes." Starting with the champion, each woman questioned the panel for one minute using questions prepared for them in advance pertaining to the round's topic. Following the questioning, the contestant selected a celebrity she thought answered "yes". The celebrity then revealed his answer by opening a folder and placing it in front of him. If it was "yes", the contestant won his key and he was eliminated from further play. If two "yes" answers had not been found after each contestant had a turn, they then took turns each asking one celebrity one question and then making a choice until two keys had been claimed.
In round two, the panel was asked another yes or no question, to which at least two of the panelists with unclaimed keys had answered "no." The second round was played the same as the first, except the contestants looked for panelists who said "no." Again, a correct prediction won a key, but a wrong prediction this time resulted in the key for that panelist being awarded to her opponent. Each contestant took one turn.
Round 3 (catch-up round)
In the final round, each player took turns asking one of the remaining three celebrities one question, based on the round's topic. The contestant then decided if the celebrity said "yes" or "no" to the round's question. If right, she won the key from the celebrity and the choice of one of her opponent's keys. If she was wrong, the key and choice of a second went to the other player.
After all seven keys were claimed, the contestant with more keys won the game and played the bonus round. The loser received a consolation prize for each key she had and was guaranteed at least one prize.
For the champion's first appearance, she was given a choice of one of the car keys. If she won the game with all seven keys, she was allowed to select a second key.
Once she did, the men attached to the key(s) came down to the car and the champion tried to start the engine. If the car started, the champion retired undefeated and won the car. If not, she won a consolation prize and White informed her which key would have been the correct choice. She then would use that key to open the trunk of the car, inside of which was a prop to give the champion some idea of what her consolation prize was. For instance, if the trunk had a tulip plant inside, the consolation prize would be a vacation in Holland.
For each subsequent win, the champion was allowed to choose one additional key. If she made it to seven wins without having won the car, she won it automatically and retired.
The sound effect used when the wrong key was used to start the car was later recycled and used on the 1986 revival of Hollywood Squares.
The show aired at Noon Eastern Time and, like many game shows in this time slot, it suffered from low affiliate clearances, as many larger markets had turned to Noon news broadcasts by 1983. The show lasted just thirteen weeks and was replaced in its time slot by The New Battlestars, which fared no better that Just Men! and also ended after thirteen weeks.
The series aired opposite The Young and the Restless on CBS (except in New York City & Los Angeles, where it was Tattletales), while on ABC, it ran opposite Family Feud. Despite the short-lived lifespan, Betty White was nominated for and won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host, becoming the first woman to do so.
- Betty White: My First 46 Years in Television, Smithsonian Associates
- Betty White page at The Museum of Broadcast Communications
- Just Men! at the Internet Movie Database
- Just Men! at TV.com