Battle of the Network Stars

This curiosity was born in the seventies. It was when TV stars were connected with their home network. ABC, CBS, and NBC would all send stars to compete with each other.  I will admit it was fun to watch. You would see Telly Savalas, Lynda Carter, Kristy McNichol (remember her?)  compete with each other with no other than Howard Cossell announcing.

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. As a pre-teen boy, I still remember Kristy McNichol was great on the obstacle course.

TV now is so fragmented that it would not work. They did try to bring it back in 2017 but it wasn’t the same and fewer viewers viewed with every episode. The networks didn’t want to share their actors with rivals. All of the contestants were from the Disney owned networks or older casts from long ago shows.

The original show ran from 1976 to 1988… Some of the Contestants are below the video.


Some of the Contestants

Howard Cosell
Gabe Kaplan
Darleen Carr
Lynda Carter
Farrah Fawcett
Richard Hatch
Robert Hegyes
Ron Howard
Hal Linden
Penny Marshall
John Schuck
Telly Savalas
Adrienne Barbeau
Gary Burghoff
Kevin Dobson
Pat Harrington Jr.
Bill Macy
Lee Meriwether
Mackenzie Phillips
Loretta Swit
Jimmie Walker
Robert Conrad
Melissa Sue Anderson
Karen Grassle
Tim Matheson
Ben Murphy
Barbara Parkins
Joanna Pettet
Kevin Tighe
Demond Wilson
Mark Spitz
Peter Lawford
Lona Barrett
Caitlyn Jenner
Bob Rosburg
Reggie Jackson
Nadia Comaneci
Joyce Brothers
Robert Stack
Roosevelt Grier
Howard W. Koch

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

19 thoughts on “Battle of the Network Stars”

  1. This program and the ABC sports “Superstars” were a fun watch- but only for a while. They really tried to build those shows up as being important. I can’t imagine the Superstars ever happening today- fear of injury. Remember Smokin’ Joe Frazier in the swimming competition walking and being disqualified? He couldn’t swim. I wonder what Kyle Rote Jr is up to these days.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yea serious should have been against the spirit of the show. Some of the stars though were quite good… some terrible but they played it for a laugh.

      Oh I forgot about the Frazier deal!

      I haven’t thought of Kyle in a long time!


  2. Yep- good memories, Kristy McNicol and all! The Superstars is the show which also came to mind, whole family used to like that one for a couple of years back then. I think it would be very interesting to see that (Superstars) done these days see how Tom Brady , LeBron James, Mario Lemieux, Mike Trout, Selena Williams and many others would do head to head running, riding bikes, doing high jumps and so on but there’s no way with today’s sports money their contracts would allow it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep it’s too much money involved now to even walk on a field with the fear of tripping and causing an injury. It is really sad now. Those were a lot of fun.


  3. Do you remember Saturday Night Live doing one of their fake commercials for “Battle of the Network T&A”? A friend’s father saw that, and thought it was a real thing and was looking forward to it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember that… I think it was on the same one where the Rolling Stones were on… I remember them showing the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders on there get sprayed with water I believe.


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