*In this week's episode, we look at the premiere episode of Battle of the Network Stars, which aired at 8:00 P.M. on November 13, 1976, on the ABC television network.
*The series lasted from 1976 to 1988 and consisted of 19 specials. The 1988 captains were John Davidson, Greg Evigan, and Lorenzo Lamas.
*Highly recommended: this Mental Floss piece we mention on the show, "A Brief History of" the series.
*$20,000 in 1976 money = $87,000 today.
*Holmes and Yo-Yo was a new ABC sitcom for the 1976 season and was yanked after 13 episodes. The series, about a veteran cop who gets a robotic partner, is not to be confused with Future Cop, a 1977 ABC series about a veteran cop who gets a robotic partner.
*"The diminutive Gary Burghoff" is reportedly 5'5".
*The Quest was a short-lived 1976 Western series co-starring Kurt Russell and Tim Matheson.
*Gemini Man was a short-lived 1976 NBC series with Ben Murphy, previously the star of Alias Smith and Jones, as a secret agent.
*Reggie Jackson, AKA "Mr. October," hit 563 home runs in a distinguished Hall of Fame career. After this appearance, he moved to New York and became an even bigger star as a Yankees slugger.
*Rona Barrett was appearing in ABC specials at this time as well as making regular appearances doing gossip and celebrity interviews on Good Morning America.
*U.S. Olympian Mary Decker failed to finish the 3000 meters in the 1984 Olympics after colliding with Zola Budd.
*Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett were married from 1973 to 1982 but separated in 1979.
*Gymnast Cathy Rigby starred in the 1968 Olympics, then entered acting, where she became famous for playing Peter Pan on stage.
*Dr. Joyce Brothers was a psychologist who became famous for being famous and was a guest star on...just about everything.
*Telly Savalas did indeed claim to give Howard Cosell his first TV role, hiring him when he was a producer on ABC's Gillette Cavalcade of Sports.
*The Superstars competitions, pitting athletes from around the world in a variety of events, aired as a series of TV specials beginning in 1973 on ABC.
*Sadly, Michael Landon never competed on Battle of the Network Stars.