August 19, 2004 -- SANTA MONICA, Calif. — A judge yes terday refused to knock out Fox's "The Next Great Champ," rejecting legal jabs thrown by NBC's "The Contender" and reality heavyweight Mark Burnett.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Linda Lefkowitz denied "Contender" producers' request for a temporary restraining order against "Great Champ," a competing boxing-reality show.
"Great Champ," which will star former champ Oscar De La Hoya, is set to debut Sept. 10 on Fox. The NBC show, which premieres in November, will be hosted by Sugar Ray Leonard and Sylvester Stallone.
Producers for "Contender," a joint project between Burnett and DreamWorks, claim "Great Champ" was too similar.
"This is a significant victory," Fox officials said in a prepared statement. "This is yet another in a series of never-ending attempts by 'The Contender's' producers to stifle competition."
A spokesman for DreamWorks said he was confident Judge Lefkowitz will grant an injunction once she hears further arguments at a hearing scheduled for two days before the Fox show's debut.
Fox is a subsidiary of News Corp, which also owns The Post. — David K. Li