Welcome to the new Battle of the Network Stars. For those who don’t know, this is a revival of the vintage series from ABC Sports dating back 1976. The show ran until 1988 and normally had two episodes a year. It was hosted by the great Howard Cosell and featured a three way battle from the stars of ABC, NBC and CBS. This was the original Dancing with the Stars.
And because TV won’t let anything die, this sports reality vehicle is back! This time with special guest coach and NFL great, DeMarcus Ware. Plus former UFC champ, Ronda Rousey. With Mike Green and Joe Tessitore doing the commentary. This version of the show has dropped the network teams and instead grouped the contestants by the types of roles they have played. Crews like: TV cops, TV lawyers, TV politicians, TV doctors, primetime soap stars, TV mom and dads, TV kids, and etc. Each airing of the 10 episode run will pit two crews against each other in a gauntlet of events. There are even some folks who are returning for their second round of Battle of the Network Stars. Talk about a throwback.
The events are just like back in the day. We still get to enjoy track, swimming, kayaking, basketball, soccer, tennis, the famous dunk tank, archery, golf, obstacle course and the the tug of war. It’s like some crazy decathlon for non-athletes. Half the fun is seeing who fails what. But then an endearing thing happens, you see one of the stars overcome in a situation you thought they had no chance in. It’s totally uplifting. And it gives you a little hope that maybe, just maybe, we can all find some inner strength someday.
I’m most looking forward to seeing team sci-fi which is Lou Ferrigno, Vinnie Jones, Charisma Carpenter, Kevin Sorbo and Jill Wagner. Team TV lifeguards also looks intriguing. The roster includes David Chokachi, Brande Roderick, Parker Stevenson, Nicole Eggert and Gena Lee Nolin. Rescue me. ABC is all in on this the retro game show thing. Beyond Battle, they also brought back The Gong Show while still enjoying Family Feud, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. That’s a lot of old shit for one network. I’ve got a new idea for you ABC, how about show where celebs do my laundry. It could be called White Wash.
Let’s all just be happy that there are finally some sports to watch. The dark days are over. Battle of the Network Stars is on Thursdays this summer on ABC.