NBC is reviving classic competitive series American Gladiators with an updated structure and new arena challenges, as announced Thursday by Craig Plestis, executive vice president of alternative programming, development and specials for NBC Entertainment.
NBC plans the revitalized American Gladiators to launch as a primetime midseason series. It will keep to the old formula of pitting everyman contestants against trained gladiators but add increased special effects and challenges involving water and new technology. The series will now also include a contestant-training period, shown as part of episodes.
"This memorable series was once a worldwide phenomenon and, given its built-in appeal, we feel that it's time to reintroduce it to a new generation and take it to a heightened level of excitement for fans of all ages," Plestis said.
NBC will turn to Reveille to produce local versions of the series internationally, in addition to the planned U.S. shows. International sales will be handled by MGM Television.
"American Gladiators is a successful MGM franchise that is ready for a whole new generation of TV viewers," said Jim Packer, co-president of MGM Worldwide Television.