Battle of the Network Stars

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Battle of the Network Stars
Presented by Howard Cosell (1976–88)
Mike Greenberg (2017–)
Joe Tessitore (2017-)
with various others (see below)
Country of origin USA
No. of seasons Original series: 12
Revival series: 1
No. of episodes Original series: 19
Revival series: 10
Production
Running time 120 minutes (1976–88)
60 minutes (2017–)
Production company(s) Trans World International
ABC Sports
Release
Original network ABC
Original release Original series:
November 13, 1976 – December 10, 1988
Revival series:
June 29, 2017 – present

Battle of the Network Stars is a series of competitions in which television stars from ABC, CBS, and NBC would compete in various sporting events. A total of 19 of these competitions were held between 1976 and 1988, all of which were aired by ABC.

In 2005, Bravo premiered a revived version of the show named Battle of the Network Reality Stars.

In 2017, ABC revived the series as a summer series which premiered on June 29, 2017.

Broadcast history[edit]

The first Battle was broadcast on ABC starting in November 1976. The program proved popular and continued for an additional eight and a half years, with subsequent episodes airing approximately every six months until May 1985. One final competition aired in December 1988. NBC tried to revive the competition in 2003, but with an intra-network contest consisting of personalities from the NBC family of networks. Typically, episodes were aired twice per calendar year, once during the spring and once during the fall during Nielsen Ratings sweeps weeks.

Sports broadcaster Howard Cosell hosted or co-hosted all but one of the first nineteen competitions (he did not host the 1985 edition due to a falling-out with ABC, but he returned for the final edition in 1988), and commented on the action with a semi-serious version of the style for which he was famous.

When ABC revived the program as a weekly series in 2017, Mike Greenberg and Joe Tessitore took over the hosting duties.

Format[edit]

1976–1988[edit]

Each network was represented by eight or ten of its stars from various series, and one of those people from each team would be elected to serve as the network's team captain.

Some of the events were modeled after those used on The Superstars, another Trans World-ABC production that featured athletes from all sports competing against each other for an overall title. Regular events included swimming, kayaking, volleyball, golf, tennis, bowling (on custom-made outdoor lanes), cycling, 3-on-3 football, the baseball dunk, running, and the obstacle course. Also featured as a regular event was a game of "Simon Says", directed by Catskill hotel Grossinger's entertainer Lou Goldstein.[1] Each network received points based on how it performed in the event.

After the regular events were over, the lowest scoring network was eliminated from further competition and the two remaining networks determined the day's winner with a tug of war.

2017–present[edit]

Two teams of five celebrities compete each week with a professional athlete as their coach (The coaches return throughout the season). The teams are typically assigned based on the genre or role of the celebrities' notable TV credits. For example, one episode pitted prime-time soap opera stars against actors associated with comedies, while another had had actors who played lawyers vs. those who played White House employees. Teams often include at last one veteran actor or actress who previously competed in the original Battle of the Network Stars and archive footage of their previous appearance(s) is shown. The venue remains Pepperdine University, as was the original.

Rosters[edit]

1976–1988[edit]

Battles I-III: Each network had a roster of 10 stars: six men and four women.

Battles IV-VI: Each network had a roster of eight stars: five men and three women.

Battles VII-XIX: Each network had a roster of eight stars: four men and four women.

Events[edit]

1976–1988[edit]

Battle I: swimming relay, tennis, golf, basketball dunk, bicycle relay, obstacle course, volleyball, running relay, tug of war

Battle II: swimming relay, kayak relay, basketball dunk, obstacle course, golf, running relay, 3-on-3 football, tug of war

Battle III: swimming relay, kayak relay, bowling, basketball dunk, obstacle course, golf, running relay, 3-on-3 football, tug of war

Battle IV: swimming relay, kayak relay, frisbee catch, basketball dunk, obstacle course, running relay, 3-on-3 football, tug of war

Battles V-VII: swimming relay, kayak relay, 3-on-3 football, basketball dunk, obstacle course, running relay, tug of war

Battles VIII-XVII: swimming relay, kayak relay, 3-on-3 football, basketball dunk, obstacle course, tandem bike relay, running relay, tug of war

2017-present[edit]

2017: running relay, swimming relay (2-on-2), kayak relay (2-on-2), basketball dunk, tennis (service return), archery, soccer (target practice), basketball (3-point shooting), golf (closest to pin), women's obstacle course, men's obstacle course, tug of war

Episodes[edit]

Battle of the Network Stars I (Nov. 13, 1976)[edit]

Host ABC (winner) CBS NBC
Howard Cosell Gabe Kaplan (captain)
Darleen Carr
Lynda Carter
Farrah Fawcett
Richard Hatch
Robert Hegyes
Ron Howard
Hal Linden
Penny Marshall
John Schuck
Telly Savalas (captain)
Adrienne Barbeau
Gary Burghoff
Kevin Dobson
Pat Harrington, Jr.
Bill Macy
Lee Meriwether
Mackenzie Phillips
Loretta Swit
Jimmie Walker
Robert Conrad (captain)
Melissa Sue Anderson
Karen Grassle
Tim Matheson
Ben Murphy
Barbara Parkins
Joanna Pettet
Kevin Tighe
Bobby Troup
Demond Wilson

Battle of the Network Stars II (Feb. 28, 1977)[edit]

This edition aired under the title Challenge of the Network Stars.

Hosts: ABC CBS NBC (winner)
Howard Cosell
Bruce Jenner[a]
O.J. Simpson
Gabe Kaplan (captain)
LeVar Burton
Darleen Carr
Richard Hatch
Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs
Ron Howard
Hal Linden
Kristy McNichol
Penny Marshall
Jaclyn Smith
Telly Savalas (captain)
Sonny Bono
Kevin Dobson
Mike Farrell
David Groh
Linda Lavin
Lee Meriwether
Rob Reiner
Loretta Swit
Marcia Wallace
Robert Conrad (captain)
Elizabeth Allen
Lynda Day George
Carl Franklin
Karen Grassle
Dan Haggerty
Art Hindle
Kurt Russell
Jane Seymour
W. K. Stratton

Battle of the Network Stars III (Nov. 4, 1977)[edit]

Hosts: ABC (winner) CBS NBC
Howard Cosell
Telly Savalas
Bruce Jenner[a]
Gabe Kaplan (captain)
Fred Berry
Billy Crystal
Chris DeRose
Victor French
Cheryl Ladd
Kristy McNichol
Penny Marshall
Suzanne Somers
Parker Stevenson
Jimmie Walker (captain)
Adrienne Barbeau
Valerie Bertinelli
Kevin Dobson
Jamie Farr
Caren Kaye
James MacArthur
Jimmy McNichol
Loretta Swit
Lyle Waggoner
Dan Haggerty (captain)
Robert Conrad
Elinor Donahue
Patrick Duffy
Peter Isacksen
Lance Kerwin
Donna Mills
Belinda Montgomery
Michelle Phillips
Larry Wilcox

Battle of the Network Stars IV (May 7, 1978)[edit]

Hosts: ABC CBS (winner) NBC
Howard Cosell
Bruce Jenner[a]
Suzanne Somers
Gabe Kaplan (captain)
Debby Boone
Daryl Dragon
Kene Holliday
Steve Landesberg
Parker Stevenson
Toni Tennille
Cheryl Tiegs
Tony Randall (captain)
Kevin Dobson
James MacArthur
Denise Nicholas
Mackenzie Phillips
Victoria Principal
Bo Svenson
Jimmie Walker
Richard Benjamin (captain)
Rhonda Bates
Jane Curtin
Dennis Dugan
Melissa Gilbert
Arte Johnson
Lance Kerwin
Larry Wilcox

Battle of the Network Stars V (Nov. 18, 1978)[edit]

Hosts: ABC CBS NBC (winner)
Howard Cosell
Frank Gifford
Gabriel Kaplan (captain)
Debby Boone
Billy Crystal
Joyce DeWitt
Richard Hatch
Maren Jensen
Robert Urich
Robin Williams
McLean Stevenson (captain)
Valerie Bertinelli
LeVar Burton
Lou Ferrigno
Pat Klous
David Letterman
Tim Reid
Charlene Tilton
Robert Conrad (captain)
Joseph Bottoms
William Devane
Pamela Hensley
Brianne Leary
Wendy Rastatter
William Shatner
Caskey Swaim

Battle of the Network Stars VI (May 7, 1979)[edit]

Host ABC CBS (winner) NBC
Howard Cosell Dick Van Patten (captain)
Scott Baio
Billy Crystal
Richard Hatch
Donna Pescow
Susan Richardson
Toni Tennille
Robert Urich
Jamie Farr (captain)
Catherine Bach
Valerie Bertinelli
Patrick Duffy
Lou Ferrigno
Leif Garrett
Victoria Principal
Gary Sandy
Robert Conrad (captain)
Todd Bridges
Mary Crosby
Jane Curtin
William Devane
Greg Evigan
Brianne Leary
Larry Wilcox

Battle of the Network Stars VII (Nov. 2, 1979)[edit]

Hosts ABC CBS NBC (winner)
Howard Cosell
Billy Crystal
Dick Van Patten (captain)
Willie Aames
Diana Canova
Joanna Cassidy
Robert Hays
Max Gail
Kristy McNichol
Shelley Smith
Ed Asner (captain)
Valerie Bertinelli
Gregory Harrison
Howard Hesseman
Kathryn Leigh Scott
Judy Norton Taylor
Jan Smithers
Allen Williams
Robert Conrad (captain)
Greg Evigan
Gil Gerard
Melissa Gilbert
Erin Gray
Randi Oakes
Sarah Purcell
Patrick Wayne

Battle of the Network Stars VIII (May 4, 1980)[edit]

Hosts ABC (winner) CBS NBC
Howard Cosell
Joyce DeWitt
Cathy Lee Crosby (captain)
Scott Baio
Robyn Douglass
Grant Goodeve
Robert Hays
Kent McCord
Caroline McWilliams
Joan Prather
Chad Everett (captain)
Jonelle Allen
Catherine Bach
Gregory Harrison
Sherman Hemsley
Gary Sandy
Charlene Tilton
Joan Van Ark
William Devane (captain)
Gil Gerard
Karen Grassle
Pamela Hensley
Brian Kerwin
Randi Oakes
Sarah Purcell
Larry Wilcox

Battle of the Network Stars IX (Dec. 5, 1980)[edit]

Hosts ABC CBS (winner) NBC
Howard Cosell
Cathy Lee Crosby
John Davidson (captain)
Willie Aames
Scott Baio
Phyllis Davis
Donna Dixon
Max Gail
Ann Jillian
Susan Richardson
Jamie Farr (captain)
Gregory Harrison
Diane Ladd
Donna Mills
Judy Norton Taylor
Tom Selleck
Joan Van Ark
Robert Walden
Arte Johnson (captain)
Byron Allen
John Beck
Greg Evigan
Erin Gray
Judy Landers
Sarah Purcell
Cristina Raines

Battle of the Network Stars X (May 8, 1981)[edit]

Hosts ABC CBS (winner) NBC
Howard Cosell
Erin Gray
Robert Urich (captain)
Scott Baio
Melanie Chartoff
Jeff Conaway
Linda Evans
Jenilee Harrison
Bo Hopkins
Ann Jillian
Tom Selleck (captain)
Danielle Brisebois
Gregory Harrison
Michele Lee
Leigh McCloskey
Judy Norton Taylor
Tim Reid
Charlene Tilton
Barbara Mandrell (captain)
Woody Brown
Melissa Gilbert
Brian Kerwin
Louise Mandrell
Randi Oakes
Skip Stephenson
Michael Warren

Battle of the Network Stars XI (Nov. 20, 1981)[edit]

Hosts ABC CBS NBC (winner)
Howard Cosell
Lee Majors
Scott Baio (captain)
Douglas Barr
Cathy Lee Crosby
Donna Dixon
Telma Hopkins
Ann Jillian
Sam J. Jones
Andrew Stevens
Pernell Roberts (captain)
Mimi Kennedy
Lorenzo Lamas
Jared Martin
Donna Mills
Tim Reid
Charlene Tilton
Berlinda Tolbert
Gabe Kaplan (captain)
Maud Adams
Melissa Gilbert
Mark Harmon
Randi Oakes
Cristina Raines
James B. Sikking
Fred Willard

Battle of the Network Stars XII (May 5, 1982)[edit]

Hosts ABC CBS (winner) NBC
Howard Cosell
Randi Oakes
William Shatner (captain)
Douglas Barr
Joan Collins
Lydia Cornell
John Davidson
Telma Hopkins
John James
Heather Thomas
Pernell Roberts (captain)
Catherine Bach
Danielle Brisebois
Audrey Landers
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Joan Van Ark
Robert Walden
Tom Wopat
Daniel J. Travanti (captain)
Debbie Allen
Mark Harmon
Nancy McKeon
Joe Piscopo
Cristina Raines
Lynn Redgrave
Bruce Weitz

Battle of the Network Stars XIII (Oct. 1, 1982)[edit]

Hosts ABC (winner) CBS NBC
Howard Cosell
Debbie Allen
William Shatner (captain)
Stephen Collins
Helen Hunt
John James
Heather Locklear
Kathy Maisnik
Heather Thomas
Demond Wilson
Kevin Dobson (captain)
Bruce Boxleitner
Delta Burke
Byron Cherry
Christopher Norris
Jameson Parker
Penny Peyser
Joan Van Ark
Daniel J. Travanti (captain)
Dean Butler
Tina Gayle
Melissa Gilbert
Ricky Schroder
Leigh Taylor-Young
Betty Thomas
Michael Warren

Battle of the Network Stars XIV (May 4, 1983)[edit]

Hosts ABC (winner) CBS NBC
Howard Cosell
Morgan Fairchild
John James (captain)
Scott Baio
Rachel Dennison
Lisa Eilbacher
Heather Locklear
Randi Oakes
Geoffrey Scott
Adrian Zmed
Tom Wopat (captain)
John Beck
Danielle Brisebois
Audrey Landers
Denise Miller
William R. Moses
Tracy Nelson
Ted Shackelford
Bruce Weitz (captain)
Peter Barton
David Birney
Meredith Baxter-Birney
Nancy McKeon
Cynthia Sikes
Mr. T
Betty Thomas

Battle of the Network Stars XV (Nov. 3, 1983)[edit]

Hosts ABC (winner) CBS NBC
Howard Cosell
Robert Conrad
Donna Mills
William Shatner (captain)
Shari Belafonte
Daniel Hugh Kelly
Heather Locklear
Ben Murphy
Geoffrey Scott
Heather Thomas
Jill Whelan
William Devane (captain)
Ana Alicia
Rosalind Chao
Charles Frank
William R. Moses
Martha Smith
Andrew Stevens
Joan Van Ark
Mr. T (captain)
Edward Albert
Teri Copley
Melinda Culea
Chad Everett
Charles Haid
Vicki Lawrence
Cynthia Sikes

Battle of the Network Stars XVI (May 3, 1984)[edit]

Hosts ABC CBS (winner) NBC
Howard Cosell
Scott Baio
Debby Boone
John James (captain)
Shari Belafonte
Pamela Bellwood
James Darren
C. Thomas Howell
Ted Lange
Heather Locklear
Shawn Weatherly
William Devane (captain)
Richard Dean Anderson
Abby Dalton
Sarah Douglas
William R. Moses
Douglas Sheehan
Charlene Tilton
Celia Weston
Flip Wilson (captain)
Ellen Bry
Kim Fields
Michael J. Fox
Charles Haid
Mark Harmon
Vicki Lawrence
Lisa Whelchel

Battle of the Network Stars XVII (Dec. 20, 1984)[edit]

Hosts ABC CBS NBC (winner)
Howard Cosell
Shari Belafonte
William Shatner (captain)
Douglas Barr
Mary Cadorette
Tony Danza
Tony Lo Bianco
Heather Locklear
Tracy Scoggins
Brenda Vaccaro
William Devane (captain)
Constance McCashin
Jennifer O'Neill
Tim Reid
Douglas Sheehan
Deborah Shelton
Parker Stevenson
Charlene Tilton
Mark Harmon (captain)
Jane Badler
Teri Copley
Kim Fields
Michael J. Fox
Stepfanie Kramer
James B. Sikking
Marc Singer

Battle of the Network Stars XVIII (May 23, 1985)[edit]

Hosts ABC CBS NBC (winner)
Joan Van Ark
Dick Van Dyke
Tony Danza (captain)
Deborah Adair
Mary Cadorette
Jack Coleman
Pat Klous
Ted McGinley
Emma Samms
Michael Spound
Lorenzo Lamas (captain)
Lucie Arnaz
Mary Frann
Jenilee Harrison
Doug McKeon
William R. Moses
Jennifer O'Neill
Dack Rambo
Bubba Smith (captain)
Lisa Bonet
Erin Gray
Kiel Martin
Nancy McKeon
Patricia McPherson
Ken Olin
Philip Michael Thomas

Battle of the Network Stars XIX (1988)[edit]

Hosts ABC Team (Winner) CBS Team NBC Team
Howard Cosell
Shari Belafonte
John Davidson (captain)
Rebeca Arthur
Allyce Beasley
Olivia d'Abo
Brian Robbins
Rob Stone
JoAnn Willette
Brian Wimmer
Lorenzo Lamas (captain)
Kristian Alfonso
Steve Kanaly
Daphne Reid
William Sanderson
Jack Scalia
Nicollette Sheridan
Charlene Tilton
Greg Evigan (captain)
Teri Copley
Clifton Davis
Deidre Hall
Dawnn Lewis
Blair Underwood
Malcolm-Jamal Warner
Tina Yothers

Battle of the Network Stars (20[b]) (2017)[edit]

For this edition, rather than the standard network vs. network format, fielding of the teams are based on the TV characters attributed to each celebrity—cops vs. TV sitcoms, White House vs. lawyers, TV moms & dads vs. TV kids, etc.[3]

Hosts Sideline Reporters Blue Team
DeMarcus Ware (captain)
Red Team
Ronda Rousey (captain)
Air date Prod.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
Mike Greenberg
Joe Tessitore
Cari Champion
Cassidy Hubbarth
TV Sitcoms (1) (19)
Tom Arnold
Dave Coulier
Tracey Gold
AJ Michalka
Bronson Pinchot
TV Kids (1) (12)
Corbin Bleu
Kim Fields
Nolan Gould
Joey Lawrence
Lisa Whelchel
June 29, 2017 (2017-06-29) 101 4.141[4]
Variety (1) (10)
Joanna Krupa
Nick Lachey
Vanessa Lachey
Gilles Marini
Jack Osbourne
TV Sex Symbols (21)
Keegan Allen
Traci Bingham
Rosa Blasi
Brant Daugherty
Galen Gering
July 6, 2017 (2017-07-06) 103 3.059[5]
White House (16)
LaMonica Garrett
Joshua Malina
Marlee Matlin
Mary McCormack
Cornelius Smith Jr.
Lawyers (13)
Catherine Bell
Corbin Bernsen
Romi Dias
Matt McGorry
Elisabeth Rohm
July 13, 2017 (2017-07-13) 105 2.707[6]
Primetime Soaps (11)
Mischa Barton
Gabrielle Carteris
Josh Henderson
Donna Mills
Ian Ziering
ABC Stars (1) (19)
Shari Belafonte
Olivia d'Abo
Michael Fishman
Jason Hervey
Anson Williams
July 20, 2017 (2017-07-20) 102 2.587[7]
Cops (1) (19)
Erik Estrada
Kelly Hu
Lorenzo Lamas
Jodi Lyn O'Keefe
Larry Wilcox
TV Sitcoms (2) (11)
Leigh-Allyn Baker
Todd Bridges
Dave Foley
Willie Garson
Jenna von Oy
July 27, 2017 (2017-07-27) 104 2.573[8]
TV Moms & Dads (19)
Greg Evigan
Lesley Fera
Jackee Harry
Chad Lowe
Ted McGinley
TV Kids (2) (12)
Jonathan Lipnicki
Jeremy Miller
Mackenzie Phillips
Jimmie Walker
Krista Marie Yu
August 3, 2017 (2017-08-03) 106 2.531[9]
Cops (2) (8)
Fred Dryer
Roma Maffia
Marisol Nichols
Ryan Paevey
Adrian Zmed
Sci-Fi Fantasy (21) (Winner)
Charisma Carpenter
Lou Ferrigno
Vinnie Jones
Kevin Sorbo
Jill Wagner
August 17, 2017 (2017-08-17) 110 2.319[10]
ABC Stars (2) (8)
Joely Fisher
Troy Gentile
Ted Lange
Denise Richards
Jill Whelan
Variety (2) (21) (Winner)
Adrienne Bailon
Lance Bass
Joey Fatone
Cameron Mathison
Kelly Osbourne
August 24, 2017 (2017-08-24) 109 2.053[11]
Famous TV Families (3)
Willie Aames
Danny Bonaduce
Beverley Mitchell
Charlene Tilton
Barry Williams
Doctors (32) (Winner)
Thomas Calabro
Taye Diggs
Deidre Hall
Benjamin Hollingsworth
Rachelle Lefevre
September 7, 2017 (2017-09-07) 107 2.979[12]
Troublemakers (20) (Winner)
Catherine Bach
John Barrowman
Julie Benz
Vivica A. Fox
Paul Johansson
TV Lifeguards (11)
David Chokachi
Nicole Eggert
Gena Lee Nolin
Brande Roderick
Parker Stevenson
September 7, 2017 (2017-09-07) 108 2.47[12]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Later known as Caitlyn Jenner.[2]
  2. ^ Although this is the 20th competition, it was never referred to as such.

References[edit]

  1. ^ SRO Productions Archived May 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Buzz Bissinger (June 1, 2015). "Introducing Caitlyn Jenner". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 1, 2015. 
  3. ^ "100 TV Stars in Pursuit of Athletic Glory on Battle of the Network Stars - Battle of the Network Stars". ABC. 
  4. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (June 30, 2017). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY’s Top 150 Thursday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 6.29.2017". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved July 9, 2017. 
  5. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (July 7, 2017). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY’s Top 150 Thursday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 7.6.2017". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  6. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (July 14, 2017). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY’s Top 150 Thursday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 7.13.2017". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  7. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (July 21, 2017). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY’s Top 150 Thursday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 7.20.2017". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved July 21, 2017. 
  8. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (July 28, 2017). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY’s Top 150 Thursday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 7.27.2017". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2017. 
  9. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (August 4, 2017). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY’s Top 150 Thursday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 8.3.2017". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved August 4, 2017. 
  10. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (August 18, 2017). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY’s Top 150 Thursday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 8.17.2017". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  11. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (August 25, 2017). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY’s Top 150 Thursday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 8.24.2017". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved August 25, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (September 11, 2017). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY’s Top 150 Thursday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 9.7.2017". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved September 11, 2017. 

External links[edit]