Fox Moves ‘Champ’ Premiere Date Up

Aug 23, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Fox announced Monday it is moving the premiere of new boxing reality show “The Next Great Champ” to Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 9 p.m. (ET), three days earlier than its originally scheduled Sept. 10 debut.

The move comes after more legal wrangling between DreamWorks Television and Mark Burnett Productions, the producers of NBC’s rival boxing reality show “The Contender,” and “Champ” producers Endemol USA and Lock & Key. Producers of “The Contender” have filed a complaint in California Superior Court alleging that “Champ” producers violated state boxing regulations in their rush to get “Champ” on the air.

A spokesman for DreamWorks explained the court on Friday allowed for expanded expedited discovery in the case, and agreed to bifurcate the hearing. The court will hear First Amendment-related questions Aug. 27 and will rule on any violations of state boxing laws Sept.7, the day “Champ” is scheduled to air.

Original episodes of “Champ” will air on four consecutive Tuesdays through Sept. 28, with Friday night weekly repeats beginning Sept. 10. The show will air solely on Fridays after Major League Baseball returns to Fox prime time.

The new air date puts “Champ” in direct competition with the CGI-animated “Father of the Pride,” another DreamWorks show airing on NBC.