Battle of the Network Stars debuts tonight, June 29 at 9 p.m. Eastern on ABC. While the roster of 100 stars runs the gamut from drama to comedy, soap operas to nighttime drama, plus variety shows, what we all want to know is which soap stars we can expect to see. Well, soap fans, half of the 100 stars in this celebrity competition are currently on a soap or have been in the past.
Here’s the breakdown of Battle of the Network Stars competitors by soap and a roster of the categories in which they will compete. See if your favorite daytime or prime-time soap star or soap alum is participating in this competitive field day of celebrities that starts tonight on ABC.
The Young and the Restless
The Young and the Restless has five participants in Battle of the Network Stars, although none are current contract players. Corbin Bernsen plays Father Todd Williams on Y&R on a recurring basis. Father Todd recently presided over Chloe’s funeral. Corbin was also on General Hospital as Carly’s dad and Ryan’s Hope back in the day.
Catherine Bach plays Chelsea’s mom, Anita Lawson, on Y&R, and of course, she’s originally from The Dukes of Hazzard. Bronson Pinchot played Patrick Dalton back in 2008, although you might remember him from old-school sitcom Perfect Strangers.
Todd Bridges, from Diff’rent Strokes, was a Young and the Restless guest star as Juice. Finally, Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day, Empire), played Stephanie Simmons on Y&R back in the mid-90s and was also on Days of Our Lives for a hot minute in the 80s.
General Hospital has one current contract star on Battle of the Network Stars and six past GH players. Hunky Ryan Paevey, who plays Nathan West, is competing on the ABC reality show, and here’s hoping he does it shirtless!
Shari Belafonte did a turn last year as GH’s corrupt mayor and was also on prime-time soap Hotel. Donna Mills played GH bad mom Madeline Reeves and was also on Knots Landing and Melrose Place. Ted Lange guested on General Hospital as a judge a decade ago, and older readers might remember him from The Love Boat as Isaac.
Other GH alums in the Battle that you might remember include AJ Michalka from a short GH arc as Ashley in 2004 and a tiny part on Passions, but most know her now from The Goldbergs as Lainey. Funny guy (and Roseanne ex) Tom Arnold played Billy “Baggs” Boggs on General Hospital back in 1994, but he’s representing sitcoms in the competition since he was on his ex-wife’s funny show way back when.
Did you know The Brady Bunch’s Barry Williams did a turn on General Hospital as Hannibal in 1984? He’s competing on Battle on a team of TV families.
The Bold and the Beautiful
There are four bit-part players from B&B’s past competing on ABC’s Battle of the Network Stars. Jill Whelan played Diane on Bold back in 2015 and did a turn on The Young and the Restless as Karby, but you knew her first from The Love Boat.
Another Bold and Beautiful cameo player competing is Gilles Marini, who played Jean Claude in 2007 (and he’s back again this year for another cameo). He was also on Devious Maids. Sexy Latin Erik Estrada played Eduardo Dominguez on B&B in the early 2000s and also worked on the telenovela Un solo corazón. But you might know Erik as one of the original CHiPS cops.
The beautiful Vanessa Minnillo Lachey played Amanda Wexler on The Bold and the Beautiful, and she and her hubby, Nick Lachey, are both competing in Battle this year.
Days of Our Lives
DOOL also has current stars representing them in the Battle. Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans) puts on a tracksuit for the games, as does Galen Gering (Rafe Hernandez). And a past Days alum who’s in the Network games is Brant Daugherty (Brian, 2012-2013).
Past daytime dramas
And it’s not just current soaps that have some players on the field. Past One Life to Live actors who are in the games include Corbin Bleu (Jeffrey King, 2013), Matt McGorry (Spiderman, 2011), and Elisabeth Rohm (Dorothy Hayes, 1997).
Past Guiding Light stars in the Battle of the Network Stars include Taye Diggs (Adrian “Sugar” Hill, 1997) and Mackenzie Phillips (Rachel Sullivan, 1996) – she was also on Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210. And Ian Ziering is in the games. You might remember him from 1988 GL as Cameron Stewart, but most know him from Melrose and BH 90210.
Four actors from Another World’s past are playing. Lorenzo Lamas (Hector Ramirez, 2004-2006) is in the games, but we also know him from Falcon Crest. Jodi Lyn O’Keefe was AW’s Maggie Cory, and Jackee Harry played Lily Mason from 1983-1986. Gabrielle Carteris was Tracy Julian in 1988, but you’ll also know her from Beverly Hills, 90210.
There are three from All My Children in the Network games – Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery), Cornelius Smith Jr. (Frankie Hubbard), and Mischa Barton (Lilly Montgomery). Mischa was also on The OC. Adrian Zmed is sporting in the games, and he was on Passions back in 2007 (as Basil) and also on Hotel. Boy toy of the 70s Willie Aames is also a soap alum. He was on The Edge of Night as Robbie Hamlin in 1983.
The last of the former daytime stars in the competition are from Santa Barbara. Paul Johansson played Greg Hughes and was also on Beverly Hills, 90210. Former Hercules hunk Kevin Sorbo played Lars on the beachy soap and also did a turn on The OC.
Nighttime soaps represent at the games
Of all the nighttime soaps, Melrose Place has the most alumni in the games. In addition to the ones listed above, Willie Garson (Dr. Mosley) is playing, and so is the ever-sexy Greg Evigan, who played Dr. Dan Hathaway on Melrose but also starred on Dallas, Hotel, and Pacific Palisades.
Melrose’s Chad Lowe (Carter Gallavan) is in the games, as is Denise Richards (Brandi Carson). Denise was also on Beverly Hills, 90210. Parker Stevenson was Steve McMillan on Melrose and was also on Falcon Crest. Last, Thomas Calabro was the often-wicked Dr. Michael Mancini in the original and reboot of MP.
Desperate Housewives alums in the games include John Barrowman (Patrick Logan), who you may also know from The CW’s Arrow. Julie Benz played Robin Gallagher on DH and also starred in Dexter, Angel, and more. Marlee Matlin was Alisa Stevens on Desperate, and Joely Fisher played Nina Fletcher on the nighttime soap.
Josh Henderson played Austin McCann on Housewives, but he’s a familiar face also from 90210 and the Dallas reboot. Angel and Buffy’s Charisma Carpenter is in the games, but she’s also from teen soap Malibu Shores, where she played Ashley Green.
There are also two celebs playing that are old-school stars from the classic nighttime dramas, in addition to those listed above. Dynasty’s Ted McGinley (Clay Fallmont) is playing, and he was also on Hotel. And Dallas’ tiny tower of power Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing) is pulling on a tracksuit. She was in the original Dallas, the reboot, and also Knots Landing.
Battle of the Network Stars Schedule
All summer long, new episodes will air on Thursday nights and then will re-run on Saturday night and again on Monday night, so if you miss an episode, no worries – it’ll be on again. Here’s a rundown of the first few episode dates and roster, and then the roster for the rest of the summer series of Battle of the Network Stars.
June 29, 2017 – TV Sitcoms vs. TV Kids
Bronson Pinchot, Tom Arnold, Dave Coulier, AJ Michalka, and Tracey Gold versus Joey Lawrence, Corbin Bleu, Nolan Gould, Lisa Welchel, and Kim Fields
July 6, 2017 – Variety vs. TV Sex Symbols
Joanna Krupa, Nick Lachey, Vanessa Lachey, Gilles Marini, and Jack Osbourne versus Keegan Allen, Traci Bingham, Rosa Blasi, Brant Daugherty, and Galen Gering
July 13, 2017 – White House vs. Lawyers
Cornelius Smith, Jr., Marlee Matlin, Joshua Malina, LaMonica Garrett, and Mary McCormack versus Elisabeth Rohm, Corbin Bernsen, Matt McGorry, Romi Dias, and Catherine Bell
Other Battle episode teams – broadcast dates TBA
Primetime Soaps vs. ABC Stars
Ian Ziering, Josh Henderson, Gabrielle Carteris, Donna Mills, and Mischa Barton versus Olivia d’Abo, Shari Belafonte, Michael Fishman, Jason Hervey, and Anson Williams
Cops vs. TV Sitcoms
Erik Estrada, Larry Wilcox, Kelly Hu, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, and Lorenzo Lamas versus Todd Bridges, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Dave Foley, Willie Garson, and Jenna von Oÿ
TV Moms & Dads vs. TV Kids
Chad Lowe, Greg Evigan, Ted McGinley, Lesley Fera, and Jackée Harry versus Jimmie Walker, Mackenzie Phillips, Jonathan Lipnicki, Krista Marie Yu, and Jeremy Miller
Famous TV Families vs. Doctors
Danny Bonaduce, Barry Williams, Beverly Mitchell, Willie Aames, and Charlene Tilton versus Thomas Calabro, Taye Diggs, Rachelle Lefevre, Deidre Hall, and Benjamin Hollingsworth
Troublemakers vs. TV Lifeguards
Vivica A. Fox, Paul Johansson, John Barrowman, Julie Benz, and Catherine Bach versus David Chokachi, Brande Roderick, Parker Stevenson, Nicole Eggert, and Gena Lee Nolin
ABC Stars vs. Variety
Ted Lange, Troy Gentile, Jill Whelan, Denise Richards, and Joely Fisher versus Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, Adrienne Bailon Houghton, Cameron Mathison, and Kelly Osbourne
Cops vs. Sci-Fi Fantasy
Marisol Nichols, Roma Maffia, Adrian Zmed, Fred Dryer, and Ryan Paevey versus Lou Ferrigno, Vinnie Jones, Charisma Carpenter, Kevin Sorbo, and Jill Wagner
Tune in tonight for the premiere of Battle of the Network Stars
It’s been a minute since Battle of the Network Stars was on our small screens. It kicked off back in 1976 and had 20 episodes before it last aired regularly in 1988. There was a reboot in 2003 and some one-offs here and there, but now, 14 years later, it’s back for a full summer run. Tune in every Thursday this summer to see your favorite past and present soap stars battle it out for network field day glory – and a shiny medal on Battle of the Network Stars!
[Featured Image by Byron Cohen/ABC Press]