TV Show Reviews
Review of "Battle
of the Network Stars" 7/7/17 by
Airs Mondays 10/9c on ABC
They re-made this show over into looking more like
"Dancing with the Stars." If you're a fan of the original
show, you might not like this. I was in high school when the
original started airing, and I never watched it until much
later, when it was re-running on one of the sports channels.
I enjoyed it then, although partly because it showed some of
my favorite actors back in the old days, when they were
younger and more fit.
Originally, they held these competitions twice a year.
The competitors were all from ABC, NBC or CBS (the only
networks around back then), but it was a fairly serious
competition in the sense that the actors did all of the
events, in real time. Just about every actor on there
was on a current show and promoting it. It was fun to
watch because you got to see actors doing something unusual,
not just acting, and the competition between the networks
was also fun. Howard Cosell was the host, and he gave
it an air of gravitas, but he also poked a little fun at it.
Now, they have way more networks (even if they only stuck
to broadcast networks), so instead, they've grouped the
people into red and blue teams and then put some kind of
label on them such as "sitcom stars" or "TV kids" etc.
They mix older actors (mostly from the 80's and 90's) with
younger ones. The problem with this is not all of the
older actors have a current show, and it just seems kind of
pathetic to have them on there (like when they're on DWTS or
other celebrity B-list shows). There is competition, but not
as much fun as when it was between the different networks.
It's only an hour long, and it's every week. They should
have made it at least two hours. They don't show the whole
competition in real time any more. They just show snippets
of it. This all makes it more like a reality show like DWTS
than the sports show it used to be. They have two
sportscasters I never heard of as the hosts. They should
have chosen someone more famous or did what Howard Cosell
used to do...pair up with an older celebrity or someone
who's good on campus. Mario Lopez or Cameron Mathison or
William Shatner would have been good choices. The ones they
use now are just boring.
They should have divided them up into 6 teams: ABC, CBS,
NBC, FOX, CW and cable/PBS. Then they could have had
two teams compete each week until they had the playoffs and
narrowed it down to just one winner. That would have made it
more like sports and we would have seen a broader range of
celebrities. Again, they should only have people who
are in good shape and who are in a current show, like the
old one. No one wants to see a fat, balding guy like Bronson
Pinchot doing these competitions. Sorry, fans, but
it's true. At least Tom Arnold was funny and actually
helped them win the Tug of War competition.
Of course, one big change is that the show is no longer
sexist. It goes out of its way not to be, in fact. The women
are not wearing skimpy workout clothes. They used to always
have the young bimbo actresses on the show. That was fun.
Especially when they did the dunk tanks. I wouldn't mind
them showing more flesh and also making it both men and
women. Why not? As long as it's the young and pretty ones of
both genders, and they're just doing sports, not stripping
or something. It's not as if they don't show people's bodies
in all of the other shows, including sports, when they need
I only watched the first episode so far, and it was all
ABC stars, past and present. I hope there's more diversity
in future episodes. I do plan to keep watching it. It's a
fun Summer show. It's just not nearly as good as the
The '70s and '80s television pop-culture classic,
Battle of the Network Stars (which
premiered from ABC Sports in 1976 and continued for 13
years), will be revived when it returns to television on
ABC. Battle of the Network Stars is a nostalgic
throwback to the original series where TV celebrities
blended athleticism with hilarious antics. The
10-episode summer event will pit teams of current and
classic TV stars from multiple eras and different genres
against one another in a variety of athletic games.
Viewers can look forward to seeing a fresh take at some
of the classic show's sporting events like Tug of War,
Archery, Kayak Relay, the Obstacle Course and the Dunk
The hosts will be Mike Greenberg and Joe Tessitore of
ESPN; Cassidy Hubbarth and Cari Champion of ESPN will be
the sideline reporters; plus Super Bowl 50 winner
DeMarcus Ware and MMA fighter/Olympian Ronda Rousey will
be the team captains.
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