August 23, 2007 08:44 PM by Joe Blackmon
NBC is reinventing the classic physical competition series "American
Gladiators" with a big-arena attitude as a mid-season primetime series
from MGM Television and Reveille, it was announced today by Craig
Plestis, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, Development
and Specials, NBC Entertainment.
"This memorable series was once a worldwide phenomenon, and given its built-in appeal, we feel it’s time to re-introduce it to a new generation and take it to a heightened level of excitement for fans of all ages," said Plestis. "The ‘gladiator’ brand is unlike anything on television today, and is event programming at its biggest and best."
"’American Gladiators’ is a successful MGM franchise that is ready for a whole new generation of TV viewers," said Jim Packer, co-president, MGM Worldwide Television. "The timing to bring the franchise back is perfect and NBC is the ideal home. We are also excited about partnering with Reveille, which marks the first time we have teamed together on a co-production."
MGM Television will handle international sales of the series and will assist Reveille in setting up locally produced versions outside of the US. "American Gladiators has long been viewed as a path-breaking concept. In taking this franchise around the world, we are sure to reach new levels of excitement and viewer interest," said Gary Marenzi, co-president, MGM Worldwide Television.
"The opportunity to work with MGM and NBC to reinvent one of the first great reality formats – especially one that fits in with our brand of fun, family, event programming – is a dream come true," added "American Gladiators" executive producer and Reveille Managing Director Mark Koops. "We are so psyched we are ready to take on the gladiators ourselves!"
The iconic event/competition show returns with a fresh modern reinvention for the 21st century. Using splashy twists including special effects, water skills and the latest technology, the classic games will be upgraded with even higher thrills, impact, energy and spectacle.
Celebrating the everyday, true American heroes — weekend warriors who excel and take pride in their physical fitness — contestants will go up against the show’s gladiators — charismatic and eclectic warriors — in the ultimate David & Goliath battle. As in MGM’s traditional "American Gladiators" franchise, everyday amateur athletes compete against action stars and stunt professionals in contests of physical strength and endurance. The series will include such classic events as The Joust, The Wall, Hang Tough and the Eliminator.
The eight new gladiators (four men and four women) are action-adventure stars ready to take down the everyday challengers with hard knocks and explosive attitudes. Contestants, both male and female, will also be extremely fit but as an added bonus, will also have the chance to train for the match, displaying their physicality, coordination and cunning to viewers in advance of the competition. Each challenger will also have a unique story to tell — and a compelling reason why they need to win. These unsung heroes combine brawn and heart in their effort to be worthy competitors, which the audience can cheer for against the villainous gladiators.