Battle of the Network Stars is coming back to TV, and it sounds like it will be a dy-no-mite reboot. TVLine posted the list of the more than 100 stars who appear on the supersized casting lineup for the reality TV revival, and it reads like a walk down classic television memory lane, with a side of ’70s heartthrobs.
The revamped Battle of the Network Stars won’t pit network vs. network like the show did during its 1970s/’80s heyday. Instead, 20 theme-based teams will go head to head in events like kayak relay race, dunk tank, obstacle courses, and (we hope) tug-of-war.
Some of the themes for the Battle of the Network Stars teams include TV Sitcoms, Primetime Soaps, Famous TV Families, Cops, and even TV Lifeguards. (Hello Parker Stevenson!) While current network regulars like Troy Gentile (The Goldbergs) and Nolan Gould (Modern Family) are represented on some teams, OG stars dominate the cast. The Famous TV Families team alone boasts Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family), Barry Williams (The Brady Bunch), Willie Aames (Eight is Enough), and Charlene Tilton (Dallas).
TV Kids like Joey Lawrence (Blossom), Jimmie Walker (Good Times), Mackenzie Phillips (One Day at a Time), Lisa Whelchel, and Kim Fields (The Facts of Life) also make the cut, as do famous TV cops Erik Estrada and his CHiPs partner in crime- fighting, Larry Wilcox. A team of ABC stars includes Anson Williams (Happy Days) and Jason Hervey (The Wonder Years), and The Incredible Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno, turns up on the Sci-fi/Fantasy team. The Battle of the Network Stars cast definitely sounds like a ’70s/’80s TV lover’s dream come true. In fact, more than 20 stars who took part in the original series of ABC specials have agreed to return for the revival.
— Lisa Whelchel (@LisaWhelchel) June 12, 2017
Battle of the Network Stars originally aired from 1976 to 1988, producing 19 ABC primetime specials in all. While legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell hosted the show back in the day, ESPN’s Mike Greenberg and Joe Tessitore will take over for the reboot. In addition, Ronda Rousey and former Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware will serve as coaches.
Battle executive producer Andrew Glassman told Fox News the focus for the reboot is “stars that you love from over the years and the spirit of the original.”
Indeed, many of the stars on the new Battle of the Network Stars cast competed on the show more than 30 years ago. Mackenzie Phillips told Fox she did the show three times in the past, and she kicked butt every time.
“I beat [Wonder Woman star] Lynda Carter in the swimming, I beat Farrah Fawcett in a bicycle race, and I beat [Welcome Back Kotter star] Gabe Kaplan strike bowling,” the former One Day at a Time star said.
“Now, it’s kind of nice at [age] 57…all that life that I’ve lived, [to find out] where do I stack up?”
Greg Evigan, who first competed on the show when he was a BJ and the Bear heartthrob, remembers competing alongside Phillips and Ferrigno decades ago, and he says the competition was stiff back then. These days, Evigan, now 63, admits, “I feel good but I’ve got a couple knee problems.”
Battle of the Network Stars (1976-1988) pic.twitter.com/PPBC6okpw2
— MrGoldenOldies (@Golden0ldies) April 11, 2017
As for Jimmie Walker, the Good Times alum revealed he has done every incarnation of the show, so why not sign up again at age 69?
Ahead of the Battle of the Network Stars revival, several of the stars hit social media to tease their involvement in the show.
Flying to LA to tape a game show. I'm not legally allowed to talk about it until I kick everyone's ass. So, I'll tell you tomorrow. ????
— Danny Bonaduce (@TheDoochMan) June 6, 2017
— Lesley Fera (@LesleyFera) June 12, 2017
— Cari Champion (@CariChampion) June 11, 2017
Battle of the Network Stars is scheduled to run for 10 episodes starting June 29 at 9 p.m ET on ABC. Take a look at an episode from the original series below.
[Featured Image by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Images]