With the recent success of NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior,” another physical competition series is getting revived. This time, it’s “American Gladiators.”
According to TVGuide.com, the same brain behind “American Ninja Warrior’s” recent reboot, executive producer Arthur Smith, is bringing the 1990s series back to TV, along with giving it a “modern makeover.”
“It’s a little darker, more intense, more serious,” Smith says. “It’s a little less red, white and blue. And there’s no spandex. Spandex has left the building.”
While there is going to be less Spandex, expect to see more modern aspects like those made popular recently by “The Hunger Games” and mixed martial arts. “Times have changed,” Smith says. “This one is tonally different. It’s more post-apocalyptic. But it’s the same spirit.”
The original “American Gladiators” pitted amateur competitors against each other and “Gladiators” in physical challenges. The show aired from in syndication 1989-1996, and was brought back by NBC in 2008, where it fizzled out after a fairly strong premiere.
Smith isn’t too worried that the 2008 revival didn’t take. “Six years ago is eons ago,” he says. “But what we’re planning is a much bigger different from the original, and much different from the NBC show.”
While the revived series is currently being shopped around to networks, Smith is producing the show with A. Smith & Co. along with MGM. Casting will come after the rebooted series finds a home on a network.