Battle Of The Network Stars: This Is Celebrity Sparta!

By Penny Chavers
'Battle of the Network Stars' - 11/13/76 on the ABC Television Network competition 'Battle of the Network Stars'. Source: (Photo by ABC via Getty Images)

When famous people do battle, everybody wins. On ABC's Battle Of The Network Stars, celebrities from different TV networks competed against each other in a gripping spectacle that was part Dancing With The Stars and part Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge. Beginning in 1976, the show featured such stars as Tom Wopat and Morgan Fairchild wearing tank tops and those short '70s workout shorts, and asked the question: Can actors and actresses, who are used to non-exertional roles of acting be up for the challenge of strenuous physical workouts? 

Each team from NBC, ABC and CBS consisted of a lineup of eight to ten stars from one network (one serving as team captain). The three-way competition (this was in the pre-Fox era, pre-WB, pre-CW era) included sporting events like tennis, golf, swimming, bowling, running, obstacle courses, and more. The lowest scoring network team would be eliminated, and a tug-of-war finale between the remaining two would determine the winner of the day.