battle of the network stars taye diggs john barrowman cast

Battle of the Network Stars Full Cast Announced: The 10 Celebs We’re Most Psyched to See Throw Down

This is either going to be really good or so bad, it’s great. But either way, ABC’s relaunch of Battle of the Network Stars (premiering Thursday, June 29 at 9/8c) is looking like the summer’s must-see — especially since on Tuesday the full list of competitors was released. The celebrities we’re most psyched to see throwing down in events like the kayak relay race and dunk tank:

Lou Ferrigno: Don’t we all want to believe that, even at age 65, the Incredible Hulk is invincible?

John Barrowman: Whether the contest includes a battle of wit (get it?), the Arrow baddie is sure to toss off a zinger or 10.

Vivica A. Fox: Like a measly archery challenge could intimidate a casualty of Sharknado 2.

Adrian Zmed: OK, so the T.J. Hooker cop is on our list mainly because of our (very) faint hope that at some point he’ll bust out in “Prowlin’” from Grease 2.

Parker Stevenson: Sorry, Shaun Cassidy. Frank was always our favorite Hardy Boy.


Battle-ready Joey Lawrence, Ronda Rousey, Kim Fields, Lisa Whelchel, Corbin Bleu and Nolan Gould

Lisa Whelchel: After Survivor, this oughta be a piece of cake for The Facts of Life’s Blair.

Taye Diggs: Because where there’s a dunk tank, there’s a good chance Taye Diggs will get wet.

Charisma Carpenter: Having her compete in a tug-of-war against Julie Benz may be the closest we ever again come to seeing Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel’s Cordelia and Darla face off.

Jill Wagner: The former Wipeout co-host is sure to scoff at Battle’s comparatively simple obstacle course.

Jackée Harry: She’ll win the sassy smack-talk challenge for her team even if there isn’t one.

Here’s the full list of stars competing on the 20 teams that will, in different episodes, do their damnedest to avoid “the agony of defeat”:

TV Sitcoms (Bronson Pinchot, Tom Arnold, Dave Coulier, AJ Michalka, Tracey Gold) vs. TV Kids (Joey Lawrence, Corbin Bleu, Nolan Gould, Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields)

Primetime Soaps (Ian Ziering, Josh Henderson, Gabrielle Carteris, Donna Mills, Mischa Barton) vs. ABC Stars (Olivia d’Abo, Shari Belafonte, Michael Fishman, Jason Hervey, Anson Williams)

Variety (Joanna Krupa, Nick Lachey, Vanessa Lachey, Gilles Marini, Jack Osbourne) vs. TV Sex Symbols (Keegan Allen, Traci Bingham, Rosa Blasi, Brant Daugherty, Galen Gering)

Cops (Erik Estrada, Larry Wilcox, Kelly Hu, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Lorenzo Lamas) vs. TV Sitcoms (Todd Bridges, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Dave Foley, Willie Garson, Jenna von Oy)

White House (Cornelius Smith Jr., Marlee Matlin, Joshua Malina, LaMonica Garrett, Mary McCormack) vs. Lawyers (Elisabeth Rohm, Corbin Bernsen, Matt McGorry, Romi Dias, Catherine Bell)

TV Moms & Dads (Chad Lowe, Greg Evigan, Ted McGinley, Lesley Fera, Jackee Harry) vs. TV Kids (Jimmie Walker, Mackenzie Phillips, Jonathan Lipnicki, Krista Marie Yu, Jeremy Miller)

Famous TV Families (Danny Bonaduce, Barry Williams, Beverley Mitchell, Willie Aames, Charlene Tilton) vs. Doctors (Thomas Calabro, Taye Diggs, Rachelle Lefevre, Deidre Hall, Benjamin Hollingsworth)

Troublemakers (Vivica A. Fox, Paul Johansson, John Barrowman, Julie Benz, Catherine Bach) vs. TV Lifeguards (David Chokachi, Brande Roderick, Parker Stevenson, Nicole Eggert, Gena Lee Nolin)

ABC Stars (Ted Lange, Troy Gentile, Jill Whelan, Denise Richards, Joely Fisher) vs. Variety (Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, Adrienne Houghton, Cameron Mathison, Kelly Osbourne)

Cops (Marisol Nichols, Roma Maffia, Adrian Zmed, Fred Dryer, Ryan Paevey) vs. Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Lou Ferrigno, Vinnie Jones, Charisma Carpenter, Kevin Sorbo, Jill Wagner)

So, which stars are you most looking forward to seeing compete? Have you picked a team already? Hit the comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. DS says:

    I can’t wait to see these.

  2. Kevin Tran says:

    Talk about a huge roster of stars past and present.

  3. Wrstlgirl says:

    You lost me at Vivica A. Fox

  4. Jennifer says:

    OMG. I agree. It will either be good, or so bad, it’s worth the time. I want to watch just to see some of the stars of the 70s/early 80s now!!!

  5. Mary T says:

    I loved the original, but not sure I’ll watch much of this. Probably will look for John Barrowman’s and the one with Charisma Carpenter and Julie Benz.

  6. nhogan47 says:

    I really hope that Troy Gentile goes full Barry Goldberg on this show

  7. lrdslvrhnd says:

    So when, exactly, does Charisma Carpenter face off against Julie Benz? ‘Cause look as I might, I don’t see that particular matchup anywhere on the roster…

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Maybe it’s Round Robin format and it could wind up being Troublemakers vs Sci-Fi/Fantasy? Or maybe simply a fun literary liberty was taken…? –Mgmt.

  8. Kelly says:

    Very excited about this. I have great memories of the original. I do have one question. Will each show end with a final winner or will this be Bracket Style like in the NCAA Tournament in which the winner of one show will compete against a winner of another show and continue on until there is one team standing? If I remember correctly the original was done Bracket Style.

  9. I seriously posted about wanting this to be a thing earlier today – and now I feel like taking it back. These are not the stars I’m looking for. wtb Stephen Amell and Jessie Graff. (and maybe a lot of other TV Superheroes)

  10. Brock Hard says:

    No Scott Baio or Mark Harmon?!?! They ruled this show back in the day.

  11. Philip says:

    Interesting. I knew that they would have to do something if it was a multiweek thing. An eclectic group of celebrities past and present. I like the groupings. Jack and Kelly Osbourne on two different teams.

    Btw, who are Lesley Fera and Krista Marie Yu?

  12. Jeff hunter says:

    Nice,I’m old enough to remember the original, but I’m also a wrestling fan so the only Hardy boys I follow are Matt and Jeff(sorry couldn’t resist)!jeff

  13. Brenda says:

    I think I watch too much tv, I recognize almost all of these names! Yikes!

  14. RS says:

    I have no idea what’s going on but I will watch Rachelle Lefevre in anything.

  15. Anne says:

    Can someone fill me in on wtf this show is?!!!!!

    • GeekWithFanGirlSkills says:

      Think of it as an amped up field day for celebrities. Not as hard core as shows like American Ninja Warrior, by any means. I seem to recall from when it was a thing of my childhood, that there was tug of war and relay races and the like. Just like ‘field day’ at my school. It was so much fun to watch my faves. And I’m kinda impressed with the mixed bag roster of old and new that ABC has lined up for us this go round.

      Also, like a previous commentor said, surely if this does well, Circus of the Starts is sure to follow and that was even more fun when I was a kid.

  16. sc says:

    I think the medium age of these group has to be old enough to be on AARP. How tough can the obstacles be? I understand the original was not the hardest course to run but I got a feeling there is as good a chance of a broken hip as there is for a pulled hamstring.

  17. LisaMBri says:

    Is there a reason there are multiple groups of “Cops”, “TV Sitcoms” and “TV Kids” etc – are they supposed to be broken down further?

  18. Never Enough Sax in Today's TV says:

    Two words: Fred Dryer. Hunter!!!! God, ’80s TV was the cheesy best… too bad no Stepfanie Kramer (aka Dee Dee McCall)…

  19. Jim says:

    Ah, Ryan Paevey of General Hospital. Yummy! …and his former GH-mom, Donna Mills too! I am THERE.

  20. Mary Kennedy says:

    Will watch now for first time because of John Batrowman love everything he’s on.

  21. Mary Kennedy says:

    Have got watch now know John Barrowman will be on a team. Love him.

  22. Maria says:

    Marlena and Rafe from Days? Bring it on. Wish they could have gotten Drake Hogestyn as he is a natural athlete, but I know he’s recently recovered from a pretty bad injury.

  23. Buddy Bull says:

    Not to be mean but shouldn’t this be renamed Battle of the Network Has Beens. I’m sure Anson Williams is a nice guy but give me a break. I don’t recall, was the original a bunch of stars past their prime also???

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Obviously some of the casting is for nostalgia sake. Obviously.

    • mary says:

      Hate to disappoint you, but most of them have been working. Williams does a lot directing. Maybe you’re past your prime since you seem like an old fart.

  24. Deena says:

    Amazing Grease 2 reference. I would’ve been happy with Score Tonight, but Prowlin’ is totally clutch.

  25. Jennifer says:

    These are the stars I always hope we’ll see on Dancing with the Stars! Great casting for those of us who grew up loving ’80s TV!

  26. JSB says:

    These are the stars I always hope we’ll see on Dancing with the Stars! Great casting for those of us who grew up loving ’80s TV!

  27. Kathy hyland says:


  28. David Finucane says:

    Honestly I was hoping there would be a superhero team with Shield, Arrow, Supergirl, Flash and LOT

  29. Anna Stephen says:

    Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams on the same team? That should be interesting. I would think they would have put them on opposite teams.

  30. DarkDefender says:

    Kinda not the same without Robert Conrad, Kristy McNichol or Michael Landon.. but I’ll watch.

  31. Cas says:

    How the hell did they get all these stars to do this?

  32. Rex says:

    It’s good to see Depends and Life Alert as corporate sponsors.

  33. LM says:

    The attitude toward such cheesy competitions has definitely changed since the 70’s, when stars of current tv shows of the time competed. This is just “Dancing with people you may have heard of,” the sequel.

  34. KP MOM says:

    I loved watching this show back in the 80s. I’m so glad it’s back. I hope the ratings are high so they attract even more celebs to sign up for season 2.

  35. Nikki says:

    I would say fully 30% of the contestants participated in the original Battle of the Network stars.

    The original episodes can be found on YouTube – but beware it’s a rabbit hole.

  36. lizzie says:

    Battle of the Network Has-Beens

  37. NP20 says:

    Definitely want to watch White House v Lawyers!

  38. Dayna says:

    Omg! I grew up ALL these stars! I remember as a kid watching the old Battle of Network Stars!

  39. Spikenalabama says:

    LOVE the reference to Grease 2!!!!! One of my favorite movies. :-)

  40. Mike says:

    Who, who, and who. More like the battle if the WHO ARE THE “network” stsrs???? A bunch of washed up has beens

  41. JohnL says:

    If only they could get Billy Crystal playing Howard Costello as the mc

  42. Terri says:

    I used love BOTNS. I mean I couldn’t wait for it every year.

  43. Sue says:

    Want the all time greatest athletic from the original series – Mark Harmon!!

  44. Shannon says:

    I loved this show and I’m so glad you brought it back. Don’t let it be just a one time thing bring it back for good. You need more categories like Superheroes featuring Stephen Amell in Arrow and other shows like The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, etc characters but Stephen Amell is a must. Also what about Reality stars for example American Ninja Warrior, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Challenge, etc. Soap Stars from all networks, Sci-fi characteristics like Jodelle Feland or Killjoys’ Hannah John-Kamen. Each networks Prime time as a category. It’s limitless. I would love to see Rosewood, and especially Supernatural both Jenson Ackles & Jared Padelecki. Please please bring these stars on this show I’m begging. I watched every episode of this show in past & looking forward to more of it! Thanks for bringing it back for our new generation of stars but we need more of the new stars. The older stars already had their chances on the show so let the newer ones get a chance to experience this wonderful show. I love the old stars but your not giving the new ones as much of chance to have this experience of majority of your cast has been on the show before. It’s time to have new generation of stars on this show!

  45. Shannon says:

    Get more of the current stars so we can have a season 2.

  46. Stephaine N Price says:

    I love this show so much tv vamps vs tv wolfs would be cool i love watching every week

  47. Mike Davis says:

    This is the direction TV needs to be going in. Bring back family TV time. To much garbage on TV today!

  48. Elizabeth Mather says:

    I can’t wait for Troublemakers, especially John Barrowman! 😍😍