Epix will debut unscripted boxing series The Contender Aug. 24. Epix is on board for 12 episodes. Boxing champion Andre "Son of God” Ward hosts what Epix calls a “competitive documentary series.”
Sixteen middleweight boxers will be on the show, taking part in elimination-style fights. One will bring home a $250,000 purse. They’ll be overseen by boxing coach Freddie Roach and trainer Naazim Richardson.
Mark Burnett is producing.
“The Contender takes unscripted TV to its grittiest,” said Burnett, president of MGM Television. “It has incredible professional fighters and real professional fights. The edge of your seat drama and true stories sets a tone that our audiences will be expecting and I love it.”
The original Contender series ran from 2005 to 2009.
“With this new iteration of The Contender, the focus is on the gritty, personal stories of the fighters battling for boxing glory,” said Michael Wright, president, Epix. “It was important for us to find individuals who not only displayed the boxing chops and resilience in the ring, but who also showed a depth of heart and humor outside of it. Our 16 fighters are vivacious, tough, funny, sensitive, driven and inspiring, and we are excited for our fans to get to know their stories and root for them inside the ring and out.”
Eric Van Wagenen is executive producer and showrunner alongside Burnett. The format is owned by MGM Television and Paramount Television.