Gather ’round, kids, and let me tell you about a TV show that was on when I was a youngster. It was called ‘Battle of the Network Stars’, and it featured some B-list celebrities and has-beens competing against each other in all sorts of funky athletic events. I vaguely remember Scott Baio kicking ass in the obstacle course… which tells you all you need to know about the show.
Anyway, it’s coming back, and Ronda Rousey is slated to be a team captain. Hooray…? I guess…? Whatever, she’s working and not getting punched in the face, so that’s a good thing.
Here’s Vulture with the news:
ABC is turning to a pair of ESPN veterans to fill Howard Cosell’s legendary yellow blazer, hiring Mike Greenberg and Joe Tessitore as co-hosts of the its upcoming Battle of the Network Stars reboot. In addition, Vulture has learned former UFC champ Ronda Rousey and recently retired Dallas Cowboys superstar DeMarcus Ware are joining the new Battle as permanent captains of the show’s rotating roster of as-yet-unannounced celebrity teams, while ESPN regulars Cari Champion and and Cassidy Hubbarth will serve as sideline reporters. The sports-centric crew is no accident: While the original 1976–1988 ABC franchise is now mostly remembered for its cheesier elements and comedic “controversies,” at the time, producers and (most of the) celebrity athletes approached the event with surprising seriousness. The reincarnated show intends to do the same.