NBC Brings ‘Gladiators’ Back to the Ring

Aug 23, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The reinvention of “American Gladiators” is finally under way at NBC. The network is partnering with MGM Television and Reveille for a long-rumored modern update on the campy early-1990s classic.
“This memorable series was once a worldwide phenomenon, and given its built-in appeal, we feel it’s time to reintroduce it to a new generation and take it to a heightened level of excitement for fans of all ages,” said Craig Plestis, executive VP, alternative programming, development and specials, NBC Entertainment. “The ‘Gladiator’ brand is unlike anything on television today, and is event programming at its biggest and best.”
The new “Gladiators” will still have everyday weekend warriors competing against the show’s cast of athletes, but it will add “special effects, water skills and the latest technology,” according to the press release. Also, the show will chronicle the backstory of the competitors as they train for their match.
Reveille Managing Director Mark Koops said the production will likely use a large, indoor arena setting and have a degree of audience participation.
“We want big raucous crowds and lots of theatricality while still keeping the storytelling,” Mr. Koops said. “You’re going to want to bring your kids to the audience.”
No host has yet been chosen, but Mr. Koops said producers are talking to some “big names” for the project. Producers are also in talks with professional and retired athletes from various disciplines, particularly ultimate fighting, to play the show’s brigade of Gladiators.
“You look around at television landscape there haven’t been a big event, stunt-driven show like this,” Mr. Koops said.
Physical-challenge reality shows have remained popular in recent years, with ultimate fighting generating viewers on venues including Spike TV and Japanese import “Ninja Warrior” dominating G4.
(Editor: Robbins)
Updated Aug. 24 at 2:46 p.m.

33 Comments

  1. If I said once I said it 10 times I think NBC is looing it everything old is not new again it’s goning to be a flop just as in all the old they are now tring to re-make,if they were so good they would have lasted for all these years,still think some one needs to WAKE UP!!!!! thanks, Dave from Detroit

  2. I am glad that someone is remaking this legendary show. I enjoyed watching this show as a kid in the early 90s and watched all the re-airs up until a few years ago when it went off air or at least to a channel I don’t get. I think this could take off if marketed right and brought to the right time slot. I hope this show gets on the air soon and I can’t wait to watch it. Thanks, Brad from Reading, PA

  3. Dave L. is obviously out of touch with the younger generations. My 5 other roomates and I watched a 6 hour gladiator telethon a month or two ago, only leaving to go to the bathroom. This is going to be a big hit, and i cannot wait. This will be huge water cooler talk. Jason from Cincinnati, Oh

  4. Dave L. is obviously out of touch with the younger generations. My 5 other roomates and I watched a 6 hour gladiator telethon a month or two ago, only leaving to go to the bathroom. This is going to be a big hit, and i cannot wait. This will be huge water cooler talk. Jason from Cincinnati, Oh

  5. Awesome news. One of my favorite shows from those late teenage years. Here’s hoping that NBC doesn’t put too much technology in to it. Likewise for not watering it down with a bunch of story telling and announcer idiocy. Give us the games! Loved the hamster ball, the q-tip jousting, the tennis ball gun warfare, all of it! Nitro, Gemini, Laser, Blaze, all great cheezy stuff.
    –”Slow Burn”

  6. I’ve been waiting for the AG comeback forever. I think it has the potential to be a great come-back hit, but reading the story above, I’m afraid NBC is trying too hard to make it a hit by adding too many gimmicks. You don’t need special effects, you don’t need celebrity gladiators, and you definitely don’t need the “latest technology.” Gladiators will be celebrities all on their own. I think back stories are great for people to get to know the contestants. I really hope many of the original games will still be around… Atlasphere for sure.

  7. I hope they take some inspiration from the UK program “Gladiators” in addition to the US version. The UK had far better production values and one glad, Wolf, who was so popular that kids would cry and parents would ask for their money back if he wasn’t on the show.

  8. I personally can’t wait i remember watching this as a child and thinking i always wanted to be a contender, now that the show is back and i’m older i’m going to try to be on it. I think the show will be a hit because it’s not a new show and people will have an idea of what to expect as long as NBC doesn’t over do it, plus there is alot of new technology and ideas.

  9. oh my… i can not wait until 1-6-08 this is gonna rock… i watched the new episodes from in 95 and 96 (when i was alive and under stood it) finally people are bringing it back… i told myself i would if it wasn’t around yet… and i loved watching the reruns on spike… and now on espn but this is gonna be awsome with hosts hulk hogan and laila ali, mike O’hearn is a gladiator along with Valerie Waugaman they really stepped it up for this. and I CANT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!

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