ABC orders celebrity-themed 'Superstars' revival for summer
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/07/2009
ABC has announced it has ordered a celebrity-themed revival of Superstars, an all-around sports competition that featured famous athletes competing in different sporting events to determine the best athlete in the world.
Superstars originally premiered as part of ABC's Wide World of Sports program in 1973.
ABC's revival of the series will pair eight celebrities with a professional athlete before the teams compete against each other in various sporting events including swimming, biking, running, kayaking and other head-to-head athletic challenges.
Each week a team will be eliminated until one team is ultimately crowned the winner.
Casting for the six-episode series has already commenced and the series is currently slated to premiere in the summer.
The Superstars franchise is owned by Juma Entertainment and Blue Entertainment Sports TV (BEST), which will also produce the show's revival. Juma and BEST began shopping Superstars' rights last fall, Daily Varietyreported.
"ABC was the most aggressive, and they were big on getting the authenticity of the original Superstars format," Juma president Bob Horowitz told Variety. "And the fact that they have the NBA Finals in June makes it a phenomenal springboard for promoting the series."
Superstars aired on ABC throughout the 1970s and into the early 1980s. Its last ABC edition was in 1984 and it subsequently aired on NBC from 1985 to 1990.
ABC then re-acquired Superstars and aired new editions from 1991 through 1994 before it went on hiatus for three years until 1998, when it revived the show and broadcast additional editions through 2002.
Previous Superstars winners include NFL football players Herschel Walker in 1987 and Jason Sehorn in 1998, decathlete Dave Johnson in 1993 and Olympic skier Bode Miller in 2002.