What could be more American than pitting sitcom stars in physical battle against each other?
Curated by The Sadnesses
Total Runtime: 0:57:20
Battle of the Network Stars is the name of 19 US television specials featuring competitions among teams of popular television performers representing the three major broadcast networks at that time: ABC, CBS, and NBC.
The first Battle was broadcast on ABC starting in November 1976, with subsequent episodes airing approximately every six months until May 1985. It returned to the air for a final show in December 1988. It consisted of a two-hour sequence of physical challenges, which were real and sometimes even aggressively competitive. Sports broadcaster 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. NBC tried to revive the show 15 years after the final "Battle" in 2003 (without Cosell, who had died in 1995) and with only NBC stars for an intra-network contest. The programs were usually taped at Pepperdine University in Southern California.