ABC’s ‘Battle of the Network Stars’ Reboot Shapes Up

Battle of the Network Stars, a remake of the '70s and '80s series, will debut on ABC Thursday, June 29. The teams for Network Stars are taking shape. MMA star Ronda Rousey and Super Bowl champ DeMarcus Ware, former linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos, will be coaches, and 100 celebrities will take part in the athletic competition.

While the original saw a network versus network competition, the new Battle of the Network Stars features 20 teams of five, each one reflecting the celeb’s TV career. There’s a TV Kids team (Joey Lawrence, Lisa Whelchel and Modern Family’s Nolan Gould are on that one), another of TV Sex Symbols (Traci Bingham of Baywatch, Galen Gering of Days of Our Lives) and Troublemakers (Vivica A. Fox, Julie Benz of Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Other celebs taking part in the competition are Denise Richards, Lance Bass, Lou Ferrigno, Ian Ziering and Marlee Matlin.

Related: ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Auditions Start Aug. 17

The original Battle of the Network Stars ran on ABC from 1976 until 1988.

The new show promises a “fresh take” on the original’s sporting competitions, such as Tug of War, Archery and Obstacle Course.

The hosts are Mike Greenberg and Joe Tessitore of ESPN, with Cassidy Hubbarth and Cari Champion sideline reporting.

Battle of the Network Stars is produced by Glassman Media and IMG, which also owns the format. The executive producers are Andrew Glassman, Will Staeger, Michael Antinoro and Chris Carlson.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.