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Battle of the Network Stars Format Celebrity sports competition Presented by Howard Cosell with various others (see below) Country of origin USA No. of episodes 19 Production Running time 120 minutes Production company(s) Trans World International ABC Sports Broadcast Original channel ABC Original run November 13, 1976 – December 1988 was a series of competitions where television stars from Battle of the Network Stars ABC, CBS, and NBC would compete in various sporting events. A total of nineteen of these competitions were held, all of which were aired by ABC.
In 2013, the show appeared in
s list of the 60 greatest game shows ever. TV Guide' [1 ] History [edit ]
The first Battle was broadcast on ABC starting in November 1976. The program proved popular and continued for an additional eight and a half years, with subsequent episodes airing approximately every six months until May 1985. One final competition aired in December 1988. NBC tried to revive the competition in 2003, but with an intra-network contest consisting of personalities from the NBC family of networks.
Howard Cosell hosted or co-hosted almost all of the specials, and commented on the action with a semi-serious version of the style for which he was famous.
As of 2012,
Battle of the Network Stars airs in reruns on Monday nights on ESPN Classic. Format [edit ]
Each network was represented by eight or nine of its stars from various series, and one of those people from each team would be elected to serve as the network's team captain.
Some of the events were modeled after those used on
The Superstars, another Trans World-ABC production that featured athletes from all sports competing against each other for an overall title. Regular events included swimming, kayaking, volleyball, golf, tennis, bowling (on custom-made outdoor lanes), cycling, 3-on-3 football, the baseball dunk, running, and the obstacle course. Also featured as a regular event was a game of " Simon Says", directed by Catskill hotel Grossinger's entertainer Lou Goldstein. Each network received points based on how it performed in the event. [2 ]
After the regular events were over, the lowest scoring network was eliminated from further competition and the two remaining networks determined the day's winner with a
tug of war. 1976 [edit ] 1977 [edit ] May [edit ] Host: Howard Cosell, Bruce Jenner and O.J. Simpson ABC team: Gabe Kaplan (captain), LeVar Burton, Darleen Carr, Richard Hatch, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Ron Howard, Hal Linden, Kristy McNichol, Penny Marshall, Jaclyn Smith CBS team: Telly Savalas (captain), Sonny Bono, Kevin Dobson, Mike Farrell, David Groh, Linda Lavin, Lee Meriwether, Rob Reiner, Loretta Swit, Marcia Wallace NBC team: Robert Conrad (captain), Elizabeth Allen, Lynda Day George, Carl Franklin, Karen Grassle, Dan Haggerty, Art Hindle, Kurt Russell, Jane Seymour, W. K. Stratton November [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell and Telly Savalas ABC team: Gabe Kaplan (captain), Fred Berry, Billy Crystal, Chris DeRose, Victor French, Cheryl Ladd, Kristy McNichol, Penny Marshall, Suzanne Somers, Parker Stevenson CBS team: Jimmie Walker (captain), Adrienne Barbeau, Valerie Bertinelli, Kevin Dobson, Jamie Farr, Caren Kaye, James MacArthur, Jimmy McNichol, Loretta Swit, Lyle Waggoner NBC team: Dan Haggerty (captain), Robert Conrad, Elinor Donahue, Patrick Duffy, Peter Isacksen, Lance Kerwin, Donna Mills, Belinda Montgomery, Michelle Phillips, Larry Wilcox 1978 [edit ] May [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell, Bruce Jenner, and Suzanne Somers ABC team: Gabe Kaplan (captain), Debby Boone, Daryl Dragon, Kene Holliday, Steve Landesberg, Parker Stevenson, Toni Tennille, Cheryl Tiegs CBS team: Tony Randall (captain), Kevin Dobson, James MacArthur, Denise Nicholas, Mackenzie Phillips, Victoria Principal, Bo Svenson, Jimmie Walker NBC team: Richard Benjamin (captain), Rhonda Bates, Jane Curtin, Dennis Dugan, Melissa Gilbert, Arte Johnson, Lance Kerwin, Larry Wilcox November [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford ABC team: Gabriel Kaplan (captain), Debby Boone, Billy Crystal, Joyce DeWitt, Richard Hatch, Maren Jensen, Robert Urich, Robin Williams CBS team: McLean Stevenson (captain), Valerie Bertinelli, LeVar Burton, Lou Ferrigno, Pat Klous, David Letterman, Tim Reid, Charlene Tilton NBC team: Robert Conrad (captain), Joseph Bottoms, William Devane, Pamela Hensley, Brianne Leary, Wendy Rastatter, William Shatner, Caskey Swaim 1979 [edit ] May [edit ] Host: Howard Cosell ABC team: Dick Van Patten (captain), Scott Baio, Billy Crystal, Richard Hatch, Donna Pescow, Susan Richardson, Toni Tennille, Robert Urich CBS team: Jamie Farr (captain), Catherine Bach, Valerie Bertinelli, Patrick Duffy, Lou Ferrigno, Leif Garrett, Victoria Principal, Gary Sandy NBC team: Robert Conrad (captain), Todd Bridges, Mary Crosby, Jane Curtin, William Devane, Greg Evigan, Brianne Leary, Larry Wilcox November [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell and Billy Crystal ABC team: Dick Van Patten (captain), Willie Aames, Diana Canova, Joanna Cassidy, Robert Hays, Max Gail, Kristy McNichol, Shelley Smith CBS team: Ed Asner (captain), Valerie Bertinelli, Gregory Harrison, Howard Hesseman, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Judy Norton Taylor, Jan Smithers, Allen Williams NBC team: Robert Conrad (captain), Greg Evigan, Gil Gerard, Melissa Gilbert, Erin Gray, Randi Oakes, Sarah Purcell, Patrick Wayne 1980 [edit ] May [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell and Joyce DeWitt ABC team: Cathy Lee Crosby (captain), Scott Baio, Robyn Douglass, Grant Goodeve, Robert Hays, Kent McCord, Caroline McWilliams, Joan Prather CBS team: Chad Everett (captain), Jonelle Allen, Catherine Bach, Gregory Harrison, Sherman Hemsley, Gary Sandy, Charlene Tilton, Joan Van Ark NBC team: William Devane (captain), Gil Gerard, Karen Grassle, Pamela Hensley, Brian Kerwin, Randi Oakes, Sarah Purcell, Larry Wilcox December [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell and Cathy Lee Crosby ABC team: John Davidson (captain), Willie Aames, Scott Baio, Phyllis Davis, Donna Dixon, Max Gail, Ann Jillian, Susan Richardson CBS team: Jamie Farr (captain), Gregory Harrison, Diane Ladd, Donna Mills, Judy Norton Taylor, Tom Selleck, Joan Van Ark, Robert Walden NBC team: Arte Johnson (captain), Byron Allen, John Beck, Greg Evigan, Erin Gray, Judy Landers, Sarah Purcell, Cristina Raines 1981 [edit ] May [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell and Erin Gray ABC team: Robert Urich (captain), Scott Baio, Melanie Chartoff, Jeff Conaway, Linda Evans, Jenilee Harrison, Bo Hopkins, Ann Jillian CBS team: Tom Selleck (captain), Danielle Brisebois, Gregory Harrison, Michele Lee, Leigh McCloskey, Judy Norton Taylor, Tim Reid, Charlene Tilton NBC team: Barbara Mandrell (captain), Woody Brown, Melissa Gilbert, Brian Kerwin, Louise Mandrell, Randi Oakes, Skip Stephenson, Michael Warren December [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell and Lee Majors ABC team: Scott Baio (captain), Douglas Barr, Cathy Lee Crosby, Donna Dixon, Telma Hopkins, Ann Jillian, Sam J. Jones, Andrew Stevens CBS team: Pernell Roberts (captain), Mimi Kennedy, Lorenzo Lamas, Jared Martin, Donna Mills, Tim Reid, Charlene Tilton, Berlinda Tolbert NBC team: Gabe Kaplan (captain), Maud Adams, Melissa Gilbert, Mark Harmon, Randi Oakes, Cristina Raines, James B. Sikking, Fred Willard 1982 [edit ] May [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell and Randi Oakes ABC team: William Shatner (captain), Douglas Barr, Joan Collins, Lydia Cornell, John Davidson, Telma Hopkins, John James, Heather Thomas CBS team: Pernell Roberts (captain), Catherine Bach, Danielle Brisebois, Audrey Landers, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Joan Van Ark, Robert Walden, Tom Wopat NBC team: Daniel J. Travanti (captain), Debbie Allen, Mark Harmon, Nancy McKeon, Joe Piscopo, Cristina Raines, Lynn Redgrave, Bruce Weitz December [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell and Debbie Allen ABC team: William Shatner (captain), Stephen Collins, Helen Hunt, John James, Heather Locklear, Kathy Maisnik, Heather Thomas, Demond Wilson CBS team: Kevin Dobson (captain), Bruce Boxleitner, Delta Burke, Byron Cherry, Christopher Norris, Jameson Parker, Penny Peyser, Joan Van Ark NBC team: Daniel J. Travanti (captain), Dean Butler, Tina Gayle, Melissa Gilbert, Ricky Schroder, Leigh Taylor-Young, Betty Thomas, Michael Warren 1983 [edit ] May [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell and Morgan Fairchild ABC team: John James (captain), Scott Baio, Rachel Dennison, Lisa Eilbacher, Heather Locklear, Randi Oakes, Geoffrey Scott, Adrian Zmed CBS team: Tom Wopat (captain), John Beck, Danielle Brisebois, Audrey Landers, Denise Miller, William R. Moses, Tracy Nelson, Ted Shackelford NBC team: Bruce Weitz (captain), Peter Barton, David Birney, Meredith Baxter-Birney, Nancy McKeon, Cynthia Sikes, Mr. T, Betty Thomas December [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell, Robert Conrad, and Donna Mills ABC team: William Shatner (captain), Shari Belafonte, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Heather Locklear, Ben Murphy, Geoffrey Scott, Heather Thomas, Jill Whelan CBS team: William Devane (captain), Ana Alicia, Rosalind Chao, Charles Frank, William R. Moses, Martha Smith, Andrew Stevens, Joan Van Ark NBC team: Mr. T (captain), Edward Albert, Teri Copley, Melinda Culea, Chad Everett, Charles Haid, Vicki Lawrence, Cynthia Sikes 1984 [edit ] May [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell, Scott Baio, and Debby Boone ABC team: John James (captain), Shari Belafonte, Pamela Bellwood, James Darren, C. Thomas Howell, Ted Lange, Heather Locklear, Shawn Weatherly CBS team: William Devane (captain), Richard Dean Anderson, Abby Dalton, Sarah Douglas, William R. Moses, Douglas Sheehan, Charlene Tilton, Celia Weston NBC team: Flip Wilson (captain), Ellen Bry, Kim Fields, Michael J. Fox, Charles Haid, Mark Harmon, Vicki Lawrence, Lisa Whelchel December [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell and Shari Belafonte ABC team: William Shatner (captain), Douglas Barr, Mary Cadorette, Tony Danza, Tony Lo Bianco, Heather Locklear, Tracy Scoggins, Brenda Vaccaro CBS team: William Devane (captain), Constance McCashin, Jennifer O'Neill, Tim Reid, Douglas Sheehan, Deborah Shelton, Parker Stevenson, Charlene Tilton NBC team: Mark Harmon (captain), Jane Badler, Teri Copley, Kim Fields, Michael J. Fox, Stepfanie Kramer, James B. Sikking, Marc Singer 1985 [edit ] Hosts: Joan Van Ark and Dick Van Dyke ABC team: Tony Danza (captain), Deborah Adair, Mary Cadorette, Jack Coleman, Pat Klous, Ted McGinley, Emma Samms, Michael Spound CBS team: Lorenzo Lamas (captain), Lucie Arnaz, Mary Frann, Jenilee Harrison, Doug McKeon, William R. Moses, Jennifer O'Neill, Dack Rambo NBC team: Bubba Smith (captain), Lisa Bonet, Erin Gray, Kiel Martin, Nancy McKeon, Patricia McPherson, Ken Olin, Philip Michael Thomas 1988 [edit ] Hosts: Howard Cosell and Shari Belafonte ABC team: John Davidson (captain), Rebeca Arthur, Allyce Beasley, Olivia d'Abo, Brian Robbins, Rob Stone, JoAnn Willette, Brian Wimmer CBS team: Lorenzo Lamas (captain), Kristian Alfonso, Steve Kanaly, Daphne Reid (as Daphne Maxwell Reid), William Sanderson, Jack Scalia, Nicollette Sheridan, Charlene Tilton NBC team: Greg Evigan (captain), Teri Copley, Clifton Davis, Deidre Hall, Dawnn Lewis, Blair Underwood, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tina Yothers See also [edit ] References [edit ] ^ Fretts, Bruce (June 17, 2013). "Eyes on the Prize", , pp. 14 and 15. TV Guide ^ SRO Productions External links [edit ]