‘Battle of the Network Stars’ Announces Teams for ABC Revival
What do current shows like Code Black, Pretty Little Liars and Scandal have in common with classic series like CHiPs, Melrose Place and Knots Landing? Stars from those shows (and many more—100 stars, to be precise) have been announced as being a part of ABC’s revival of the classic sports/entertainment competition series, Battle of the Network Stars.
The original series, from ABC sports, began as a series of specials that began in 1976 and ran for 13 more years. In that version, stars from ABC, NBC and CBS competed against each other in a variety of sports events like kayak and swimming relay, obstacle course and, of course, the infamous tug-of-war.
Given the expanse of programming and various platforms on which we all watch television, the new version—which will air over 10 episodes beginning June 29 on ABC—has themed groups with a mix of classic and current stars.
As previously announced, the hosts for the series are Mike Greenberg and Joe Tessitore of ESPN; Cassidy Hubbarth and Cari Champion of ESPN will be the sideline reporters. Super Bowl 50 winner DeMarcus Ware and MMA fighter/Olympian Ronda Rousey will be the team captains. The competition takes place at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, which was the original site for the series.
On Monday, ABC released the teams and the 100 stars who will populate them. Can you spot a few of your favorites? (stars with * denotes those who appeared on the original series):
TV Sitcoms (Bronson Pinchot, Tom Arnold, Dave Coulier, AJ Michalka, Tracey Gold)
vs. TV Kids (Joey Lawrence, Corbin Bleu, Nolan Gould, *Lisa Whelchel, *Kim Fields)
Primetime Soaps (Ian Ziering, Josh Henderson, Gabrielle Carteris, *Donna Mills, Mischa Barton)
vs. ABC Stars (*Olivia d’Abo, *Shari Belafonte, Michael Fishman, Jason Hervey, Anson Williams)
Variety (Joanna Krupa, Nick Lachey, Vanessa Lachey, Gilles Marini, Jack Osbourne)
vs. TV Sex Symbols (Keegan Allen, Traci Bingham, Rosa Blasi, Brant Daugherty, Galen Gering)
Cops (Erik Estrada, *Larry Wilcox, Kelly Hu, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, *Lorenzo Lamas)
vs. TV Sitcoms (*Todd Bridges, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Dave Foley, Willie Garson, Jenna von Oy)
White House (Cornelius Smith Jr., Marlee Matlin, Joshua Malina, LaMonica Garrett, Mary McCormack)
vs. Lawyers (Elisabeth Rohm, Corbin Bernsen, Matt McGorry, Romi Dias, Catherine Bell)
TV Moms & Dads (Chad Lowe, *Greg Evigan, *Ted McGinley, Lesley Fera, Jackee Harry)
Famous TV Families (Danny Bonaduce, Barry Williams, Beverley Mitchell, *Willie Aames, *Charlene Tilton)
vs. Doctors (Thomas Calabro, Taye Diggs, Rachelle Lefevre, *Deidre Hall, Benjamin Hollingsworth)
Troublemakers (Vivica A. Fox, Paul Johansson, John Barrowman, Julie Benz, Catherine Bach)
ABC Stars (*Ted Lange, Troy Gentile, *Jill Whelan, Denise Richards, Joely Fisher)
vs. Variety (Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, Adrienne Houghton, Cameron Mathison, Kelly Osbourne)
Cops (Marisol Nichols, Roma Maffia, *Adrian Zmed, Fred Dryer, Ryan Paevey)
vs. Sci-Fi Fantasy (*Lou Ferrigno, Vinnie Jones, Charisma Carpenter, Kevin Sorbo, Jill Wagner)
Battle of the Network Stars premieres June 29 at 9/8c on ABC.