EXCLUSIVE: A revival of the popular physical competition show American Gladiators, which pits everyday people against famous athletes through an obstacle course is being shopped around by MGM. John Ferraro, the producer of the original AG, is involved as are Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg who are expected to serve as executive producers.
The original American Gladiator was a hit and ran for almost seven years from 1989 to 1996 in syndication; that was produced and distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Television with Ferraro. American Gladiators then was revived again in 2008 with Hulk Hogan and Laila Ali as hosts.
The American Gladiators series was considered a syndication darling, repeatedly racking up ratings for its time slot and was so successful that other programs ended up spinning off from it to try to cash in on that momentum. We hear that MGM is currently talking to distributors who are interested in the revival.
MGM Television, under its group chairman Mark Burnett, has been pushing hard over the past few years and currently accounts for around 800 hours of programming a year. American Gladiators is the second revival of a well known reality format that Burnett and MGM TV are currently shopping, along with a new Eco-Challenge to be hosted by Bear Grylls. Additionally, Burnett recently set up a revival of the boxing series The Contender at MGM-owned Epix.
The division has been focusing on expanding the scope of its unscripted content development and production under Barry Poznick.
Rogen and Goldberg produce a number of TV series, including The Boys, Black Monday, Preacher and Future Man. Rogen is repped by UTA, Principal Entertainment and law firm Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson.