Roller Derby on TV?

Television has fallen in and out of love with roller derby over the years through its various periods of decline and revival. Some would even argue that television was responsible for the declines in popularity of the sport during the 70s, 80s and 90s due to over-saturation of the air waves. However, the sport we know and love today is very different from that of days gone by but it is becoming more of a presence on mainstream television and as its popularity is still rapidly growing internationally, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more frequent appearances in the near future.
These are all the roller derby mainstream TV moments I could find to date:
  • Roller derby was incorporated into the plot of the 27th episode of “The Untouchables” in 1960
  • The sport was featured in the 14th episode of the animated TV series “The Addams Family” in 1973
  • In the early 1970s, a roller derby participant was depicted in the children’s program ZOOM, in a segment called “As the World Zooms.”
  • In September 1973, “Bailey’s Comets”, an animated series on CBS featured a 6 member (3 male, 3 female) roller derby team involved in an international race against other, rather bizarre teams for a $1 million cash prize
  • Roller derby made an appearance in the 12th episode of the TV series “Charlie’s Angels” in 1976
  • It was also shown in the 87th episode of the TV series “The Six Million Dollar Man” in 1977
  • In 1978, NBC produced a short-lived TV sitcom called The Roller Girls which featured the exploits of a fictional all-female roller games team, the Pittsburgh Pitt
  • Roller derby made an appearance in an episode of the TV series “Laverne & Shirley”
  • It was also shown in the 22nd and 117th episodes of the TV series “Fantasy Island” in 1978 and 1982
  • The 10th episode of the TV series “Room for Two” in 1982
  • The 31st episode of “The Fall Guy” in 1982
  • The 45th episode of the TV series “It’s a Living” in 1986
  • My personal favourite roller derby TV appearances were the 30th and 49th episodes of the TV series “Clarissa Explains It All” in 1992 and 1993, where Clarissa’s best friend Sam’s mother was a skater in a roller derby league, which was why she was never at home and Sam was always hanging out at Clarissa’s house
  • In 1999, roller derby players were guests on the 62nd episode of “The Martin Short Show”
  • the 17th episode of the animated TV series “George and Martha” in 2000
  • In 2004, roller derby players were featured in episode 8 of the trading-places-themed reality TV series “Switched Up!”
  • Roller derby was featured in the 181st episode of the “King of the Hill” animated TV series in 2005
  • Also in an episode of the TV series “CSI: NY” in 2005
  • In 2005, roller derby players were featured in episode 25 of the trading-places-themed reality TV series “Average Joe”
  • In 2006 the A&E Network premiered “Rollergirls”, a reality TV show consisting of 13 one-hour episodes featuring the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls
  • The 3rd episode of the TV series “The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman” in 2006 included roller derby skaters
  • The 32nd episode of the TV series “Family Business” featured roller derby in 2006
  • In 2006, members of the L.A. Derby Dolls appeared in a roller derby-themed stunt on the comedic stunt show “Wildboyz” on MTV2, in a roller derby-themed challenge on the reality TV dating show “Next” on MTV, and in a roller derby feature in the first episode of “Sucks Less with Kevin Smith” on mtvU
  • In 2006 and 2007, members of roller derby leagues appeared in a roller derby-themed TV commercial for Right Guard deodorant and another for Aleve pain reliever.
  • In 2007, members of the L.A. Derby Dolls appeared in a roller derby-themed challenge on the reality TV show “The Biggest Loser” on NBC
  • Two episodes of the reality TV show “Trading Spaces” featured members of roller derby leagues
  • In 2008, members of the L.A. Derby Dolls appeared in roller derby-themed challenges on the reality TV dating shows “Rock of Love 2 with Bret Michaels” on VH1 and “Date My Mom” on MTV.
  • The 38th episode of the TV series “Psych” in 2008 featured roller derby
  • As did the 14th episode of the U.S. version of the TV series “Kath & Kim” in 2009
  • In 2010, Gotham Girls’ Miss American Thighs starred in a TV commercial for Cheerios
  • In 2011, an episode of CMT’s “Made” featured a member of the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls training someone new to the sport
  • Inside Out West on BBC 1 featured UK roller derby league Severn Roller Torrent
Advertisements