From the producer of The Apprentice and Survivor comes a new unscripted series that will launch a competitive search for the next boxing superstar.
The Contender will follow 16 aspiring boxers from training camp through an evolving series of ring challenges and boxing matches over 16 episodes. For the first eight episodes, the winner of the fight-of-the-week will be rewarded with a guaranteed spot in the Quarter Finals. After four weeks of these Quarter Finals, two weeks of Semi-Finals will follow. In the show's last week, the final victor will claim a $1,000,000 prize. The driving force behind the series will be the pursuit of the American dream and the natural trials, tribulations and heartbreak inherent in that quest combined with the drama and tension of the sweet science. The canvas of the show is much broader than boxing - it will give viewers a first hand look into the real life hopes, triumphs and defeats of the contestants. The Contender will be a joint production of Mark Burnett Productions, DreamWorks Television and Rogue Marble. Sylvester Stallone, Mark Burnett, and Jeffrey Katzenberg are the executive producers.
NBC cancelled The Contender in May of 2005 after only one season. After three months of shopping around, Mark Burnett finally sold it to ESPN. The sports cable channel will begin airing the series in the Spring of 2006. ESPN has the option of picking the series up for an extra two seasons.