The network is developing a rebooted version of the ’70s and ’80s television classic, which pitted teams of TV stars against one another in athletic competitions. ABC has begun a casting search for what would be a new event series airing this summer. According to a casting announcement obtained by Variety, the series will shoot in May.
The revival hails from ABC and IMG, which owns the program and will produce with Glassman Media. It will feature stars from across multiple television genres competing to raise money for charity.
The original “Battle of the Network Stars” aired on ABC from 1976 to 1985 and featured teams representing ABC, CBS, and NBC competing in events such as kayaking, golf, three-on-three footbal, and tug of war. The show was hosted for most of its run by Howard Cosell. Among the co-hosts and competitors featured over the years were Ron Howard, Penny Marshall, Bruce Jenner, O.J. Simpson, Rob Reiner, LeVar Burton, Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Tony Randall, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Lynn Redgrave, Tom Selleck, William Shatner, and Michael J. Fox.
The show was revived twice — in 1988 on ABC, and in 2003 on NBC. The latter featured only Peacock stars.
ABC has enjoyed success in recent years with revivals of classic game shows such as “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Match Game,” and “The $100,000 Pyramid.” “Celebrity Family Feud” was Sunday night’s most watched series on broadcast last summer, with “Match Game” and “Pyramid” ranking as the No. 1 shows in their respective timeslots on the same evening. In October, ABC ordered a revival of “The Gong Show,” set to premiere this summer.