The Neighbors

ABC (ended 1976)


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The Neighbors

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B-R-R-R-R-R-ING!!!! B-R-R-R-R-R-ING!!!! "Hello?" "Yah, I just saw Janie, and she's at the door again with the mailman!" gasp"No! They sure spend a lot of time talking!" "Yeah! And I bet he's mailed quite a few love letters to her!" Well, that's a poor example, but that's kind of what was talked about on this short-lived Newlywed Game-knockoff, The Neighbors. Years before Regis Philbin coined the phrase, "Is that your final answer?" he helped five women share their neighborhood gossip. The five women – probably all gabby and a little snobbish (not unlike the character of Harriet Olesen on Little House on the Prairie – were all said to be neighbors in real life. Two of them were contestants, while the other three formed a panel. Several rounds were played, as thus: • Round 1 – Philbin read a piece of information and the contestant who rang in had to determine whether said statement was about her or one of the neighbors. Correct answers were worth $25 (likely to foot the bill for that big fence, to conceal their naughtiness). • Round 2 – A piece of gossip was played and the contestnat had to decide which of the big-mouthed neighbors said it. A correct answer put $100 in their bank (and probably used for a security system to zap away one of the snoopy neigbhors). • Round 3 – More statements read, and each of the contestants were allowed to decide who the comment was about. A correct answer added more money (likely for that contestant's stay-away fund). The contestant ahead by the end of the game was declared the winner and won a bonus prize, which probably was kept safe from her neighbors' prying eyes (that is, if they were still on speaking terms afterward). There was only one episode that had an all-male panel. Perhaps it happened on April Fool's Day. The short run of The Neighbors probably speaks for itself, and when Regis – at the time a prominent personality in Los Angeles – got the call that this show was cancelled, he probably was probably hung up on before he had a chance to utter, "Is that your final answer?" In any case, we know Philbin did much better in the years to come. This show got replaced by Break The Bank, hosted by Tom Kennedy. There would not be another female contestant only network game show until 1983 when Betty White did Just Men!