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Battle of the Network Stars: Discussion Thread

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I guess "wise" or not will depend on how well it does in the ratings.You're going to have the purists who want it to more closely imitate the originals, the folks who just want to be entertained and maybe see a few old familiar faces, and those who just won't care. We'll see how the chips (no pun intended) fall.

The blog brought up a lot of the differences between the old and new and I guess it all comes down to taking it in context of the times. Back then, there were fewer networks and, chances were, even if you didn't watch their shows, you'd heard of these people. I mean, to this day, I've never watched a Robert Conrad series or CHIPS but I knew who those guys were and that they were on hit series. Nowadays, like the blog says, there are so many more networks, more people being called "stars" (heck, even youtubers are called "stars") so there's a plethora of B,C,D....Z-listers to choose from. (I do find it kind of funny that it airs on ABC and noticeably absent are DWTS pros, very fit, agile people.) There are a lot of people on the list of 100 names that I don't know and I'm sure to a 20-year old, there are plenty of names they don't know either. Question is, will it still be entertaining enough for us all to tune in? I mean, one of the reasons I don't tune in to the new/old game shows ABC rebooted is that I have no idea who most of the "stars" are. If BOTNS were full of youtubers and CW stars, I probably wouldn't bother. I skipped The Amazing Race season when they had all social media people. I'm funny that way...I either want to see everyday "real" people compete in something or celebrities I would recognize by their talents...not one being passed off as the other.

The celebs took it more seriously then. The teams were bigger, they were playing for prize money. We've only had one episode of the revamp to go by so far...and it did play more like a reality show "let's see what these old folks can do" and "who needs a career boost" type of thing. Their categorizing of teams seems a bit odd...Tracey Gold being on the sitcoms side instead of the tv kids side with Joey Lawrence and The Facts of Life girls, for instance....upcoming Gilles Marini on variety (from what, his 2 DWTS appearances?) vs the sex-symbol side.

Yeah, I remember the old and think it was better. But, that being said, I'm watching it to be entertained for that one hour. To quote a famous movie, "that'll do, pig, that'll do."

 

Edited by applcin

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For comparison's sake, here is the cast of the original 1976 special, arguably the most successful, with their then-current TV programs in parentheses and the programs' Nielsen ranks for the 1976-1977 season:

 

ABC
Gabe Kaplan ("Welcome Back, Kotter" - #13)
Darleen Carr ("The Streets of San Francisco" - #52)
Lynda Carter ("Wonder Woman" - not in the top 30)
Farrah Fawcett ("Charlie's Angels" - #5)
Richard Hatch ("The Streets of San Francisco" - #52)
Robert Hegyes ("Welcome Back, Kotter" - #13)
Ron Howard ("Happy Days" - #01)
Hal Linden ("Barney Miller" - #17)
Penny Marshall ("Laverne & Shirley" - #02)
John Schuck ("Holmes & Yoyo" - not in the top 30)

CBS
Telly Savalas ("Kojak" - not in the top 30)
Adrienne Barbeau ("Maude" - not  the top 30)

Gary Burghoff ("M*A*S*H" - #04)
Kevin Dobson ("Kojak" - not in the top 30)
Pat Harrington, Jr. ("One Day at a Time" - #08)
Bill Macy ("Maude" - not in the top 30)
Lee Meriwether ("Barnaby Jones" - not in the top 30)
Mackenzie Phillips ("One Day at a Time" - #08)
Loretta Swit ("M*A*S*H" - #04)
Jimmie Walker ("Good Times" -#26)

NBC
Robert Conrad ("Baa Baa Black Sheep" - not in the top 30)
Melissa Sue Anderson ("Little House on the Prairie" - #15)
Karen Grassle ("Little House on the Prairie" - #15)
Tim Matheson ("Jigsaw John" - not in the top 30)
Ben Murphy ("Gemini Man" - not in the top 30)
Barbara Parkins ("Captains and the Kings" - not in the top 30)
Joanna Pettet ("Captains and the Kings" - not in the top 30)
Kevin Tighe ("Emergency!" - not in the top 30)
Bobby Troup ("Emergency!" - not in the top 30)
Demond Wilson ("Sanford and Son" - #27)

All of CBS's represented shows were big, if not huge, hits at one point or another. Same for all of the ABC's shows, barring the obvious exception. NBC, of course, was not a hit factory in the late 1970s, but they still managed to get people from their hit shows that were nearing cancellation ("Emergency!" and "Sanford and Son") and one of the shows that would eventually be one of its few huge hits over the next few seasons (LHOTP).

I wouldn't even know how to begin casting for a current BOTNS that followed the same format. Maybe your teams could be broadcast, cable, and streaming? But the fundamental issue still remains - today's "hits" are nowhere near as big as hits were decades ago, and the "stars" aren't either.

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I watched the new episode tonight, and I enjoyed it for the most part. Those fundamental problems are absolutely there and will always be there, but once you get past that and just watch it for what it is, it's good fun. Plus, Brant Daugherty and Keegan Allen represented PLL very well with their fine asses.

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Brant has buffed up since his Days stint.  I had to LOL seeing Galen Gering and him in the sex symbol group. I've never thought or never will think of him that way. It was laughable he was in that category.

Edited by Soapsuds

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Didn't find the 2nd one (variety vs. sex symbols) as entertaining as the first, mostly because I didn't know most of the "sex symbol" team. And, yep..."Gilles Marini, Dancing With The Stars", followed by "Joanna Krupa, Dancing With The Stars." :rolleyes: I almost expected to hear "Nick Lachey, brother of the guy on DWTS". Again, funny considering that the actual pros of DWTS are nowhere to be seen. I'd like to know what network "98 Degrees" was on, btw. :huh: And they seriously don't need 4 commentators.

I kind of miss the tandem bike race from the old version but it would probably be one of the more dangerous events; this show and these folks, even the younger ones, don't seem quite as daring as those back in the day. Golfing and shooting hoops? 

Kind of funny throwback when asking if the couples that appeared together previously were still together and they showed Captain & Tenille and David/MB Birney. On the other hand, they left out Gregory Harrison & Randi Oakes, who met on the show and appeared several more times. They're still together.

Apparently the ratings for the first episode were not great but not totally in the pits either.
 

Edited by applcin

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You'd think they wouldn't miss this up but they did. They should have ABC vs NBC vs CBS vs Fox instead they have this mess. I am not surprised the ratings weren't that great.

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18 minutes ago, applcin said:

And, yep..."Gilles Marini, Dancing With The Stars", followed by "Joanna Krupa, Dancing With The Stars." :rolleyes: I almost expected to hear "Nick Lachey, brother of the guy on DWTS". Again, funny considering that the actual pros of DWTS are nowhere to be seen. I'd like to know what network "98 Degrees" was on, btw. :huh: And they seriously don't need 4 commentators.

 

I love how they didn't even bother to pretend like Nick was there to represent a particular TV show :lol: I honestly think they had every intention of saying he was "from Newlyweds" (especially with Jack being there from The Osbournes) but Nick and Vanessa might've been like "Uh? No."

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The ratings have been on a downward slide. Not looking too good. 

Honestly, I thought the 3rd one (White House vs. Lawyers) was the most boring yet. I think because I never watched any of the shows, JAG, LA Law, Scandal...none of them. There was nobody I was rooting for. I got distracted and missed parts of it. At the start, I was looking at the clock and noticed they didn't even start the actual competition until 7 minutes in. They waste a lot of time with the silly bravado talk and commentators. The one reminds me of Aisha Tyler hosting "Whose Line."  

Again, I think the teams are too small and it makes for some really bad match ups of opponents and cringeworthy moments.
 

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21 minutes ago, applcin said:

The ratings have been on a downward slide. Not looking too good. 

Honestly, I thought the 3rd one (White House vs. Lawyers) was the most boring yet. I think because I never watched any of the shows, JAG, LA Law, Scandal...none of them. There was nobody I was rooting for. I got distracted and missed parts of it. At the start, I was looking at the clock and noticed they didn't even start the actual competition until 7 minutes in. They waste a lot of time with the silly bravado talk and commentators. The one reminds me of Aisha Tyler hosting "Whose Line."  

Again, I think the teams are too small and it makes for some really bad match ups of opponents and cringeworthy moments.
 

I saw the title to the show and just passed on it. I watched about 10 mins of the first episode and haven't watched since. The show is horrible. I wonder if the Gong Show will last too. It is a hot mess too. I hated the premiere and it doesn't compare to the original.

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I think the current incarnation of The Gong Show is pretty good. It does exactly what that show is supposed to do, IMO.

A big huge thing that makes this BOTNS a different animal from the originals is that the originals came out once or twice a year as two-hour specials. That had to have made it very easy to corral stars from TV's biggest shows to play around at Pepperdine (glad they're still doing it there). Cutting it down to an hour and then making it a weekly series just kills it.

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I know times are different, the network landscape has changed and they can't really copy too much from the original, other than the name and ugly yellow jackets, it seems. As has been said, the tv landscape was smaller then but audiences still more or less knew who the stars were even if they didn't watch their shows. I don't mind the concept of themed-teams as opposed to actual networks, although you could assume in the original that many of the celebs knew one another, especially if they came from the same network. They had more of that team feel. The way the show is executed now just makes it play less like a team sports competition and more like a "reality" show with people needing work, some not having any athletic ability or interest, others who really have a peripheral connection to a tv show, past or present. 

I do recall the original specials lasting 2 hours, so when they took the time they did for commenting or presenting a celeb's package, it was fine, it didn't really cut into the event time. And I liked that the teams had captains who were also competitors rather than coaches on the sidelines. I see most people on FB complain about missing the live spectators but for me, like I said, it's the small size of the teams, with some members being at a disadvantage due to age and weight and you just have really ridiculously mismatched opponents.
 

Edited by applcin

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On 7/16/2017 at 3:33 PM, All My Shadows said:

A big huge thing that makes this BOTNS a different animal from the originals is that the originals came out once or twice a year as two-hour specials. That had to have made it very easy to corral stars from TV's biggest shows to play around at Pepperdine (glad they're still doing it there). Cutting it down to an hour and then making it a weekly series just kills it.

All My Shadows, do you remember a short-lived syndicated series known as Star Games?  It ran during the 1985-86 television season.  Bruce Jenner (now known as Caitlyn Jenner) cohosted it.

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