ESPN picks up The Contender; Manfredo and Gomez match will air in Oct.

As has been long rumored, ESPN has picked up The Contender for a second season. The cable network also has the option to air the show for two additional seasons.

“Plans call for casting and production to begin immediately and for the series to air beginning April 2006 in primetime on ESPN,” according to a press release. Of the move, producer Mark Burnett said, “Our vision from the onset was to improve the entertainment experience of televised boxing for the fans. What better platform to achieve that vision than on the network that pioneered sports television programming.”

The network will also air a rematch between two of the first season’s boxers, third-place winner Alfonso Gomez and runner-up Peter Manfredo Jr. Boxing News reports that this is “tentatively scheduled for September 24 on ESPN.”

Update: The rematch is now set for Oct. 15 at the Staples Center in LA.

“The Contender” Coming To ESPN April 2006 [ESPN press release]
ESPN buys Contender! [Boxing News]

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.