In Depth

NBC Brings ‘Gladiators’ Back to the Ring

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.

Comments 33

Dave L

user-pic

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

Brad R

user-pic

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

Jason B,

user-pic

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

Jason B,

user-pic

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

Justin

user-pic

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"

user-pic

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.

Ian Carter

user-pic

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.

X FACTOR

user-pic

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.

Justin

user-pic

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!!!!!!!!!!!

user-pic

Lindsay Lohan “Those were my student years … but they also were through the public eye. I got reckless. I started experimenting. Having been doing specific things that individuals do 10 times more of when these are in university.”

user-pic

Re. Gap's logo: I could not sufficiently emphasize the intensity of the fuck I don't give.

user-pic

When I am shopping I am considering making love, so I'm having sex I am thinking about purchasing.

user-pic

Dreamin. I love blogging. You all express your feelings the right way, because they are your feeling, focus on your blog it is great.

user-pic

Neat blog layout! Very easy on the eyes.. i like the colors you picked out

user-pic

Every woman is thinking about buying the best quality products in leather, the first name that comes to mind is that the coachReplica Handbags Fashion.

user-pic

I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply back as I'm looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

user-pic

Great blog!! You should start many more. I love all the info provided. I will stay tuned :)

user-pic

High quality info here! Keep up the great work. I love the feelings being expressed.

user-pic

Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

user-pic

If you are buying something, you want to ensure that only buy things that are considered of great value for money. After all, do not blow hard-earned money to something that at the end is a lot of cost to buy long-term. This includes the purchase of things that wear out in no time to buy, or even something that meets your requirements, because it seems too cheap! Unique Handbags with these tips to buy decent replica, should be able to pick up something that others sure that you are applauding.

user-pic

some truly fantastic information, Gladiola I noticed this.

user-pic

I love the way you write and also the theme on your blog. Did you code this yourself or was it done by a professional? I'm very very impressed.

user-pic

Keep focusing on your blog. I love how we can all express our feelings. This is an extremely nice blog here :)

user-pic

You make blogging look like a walk in the park! I've been trying to blog daily but I just cant find writing material.. you're an inspiration to me and i'm sure many others!

user-pic

overabundant spam on this web log. althea.

user-pic

Love all the opinions expressed here! How is everyone? Love how everyone expresses whatr they feel :)

user-pic

Dreamin. I love blogging. You all express your feelings the right way, because they are your feeling, focus on your blog it is great.

user-pic

Nice blog subject. thanks for letting me add something!

user-pic

Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass' favor.

user-pic

Great post, I do very much exactly the same way. home and garden

user-pic

can you say big mistake, the hulkster will do anything for money now a days...

user-pic

High quality info here! Keep up the great work. I love the feelings being expressed.