MGM and the WWE are collaborating on a rebooted version of the adorably absurd 1990s combat reality series, American Gladiators. Naturally, the “reimagined” Gladiators is expected to feature stars from the WWE.
According to Deadline, MGM president Mark Burnett–who created Survivor, The Apprentice and Shark Tank–is in the process now of selling the new series “to broadcasters and platforms.” Meaning: Don’t be surprised if Gladiators comes back as a streaming series rather than on regular broadcast TV.
That’s not the only interesting American Gladiators news that Deadline has reported this year. Here’s more:
Deadline also revealed this year that a documentary about American Gladiators has been set as an upcoming “30 for 30” documentary from ESPN and Vice Studios.
American Gladiators is considered one of the first reality competition series. It pitted a cast of amateur athletes against each other as well as the shows’ own gladiators across a range of challenges including a tough obstacle course.
Gladiators premiered in 1989 and ran in syndication through 1996. It was rebooted for the first time in 2008 and ran for two seasons. MGM collaborated with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in another attempt to bring it back in 2018 but apparently, that didn’t go far. (Perhaps broadcasters weren’t interested in seeing combatants clubbing each other with giant spliffs containing Rogen’s signature Houseplant cannabis.)
Burnett has a famously long track record with successful reality TV shows so it may not be too long at all before we’re once again watching WWE giants battling buff regular folks with massive Q-Tips just like in the old days—AKA the early 1990s.