ABC Revives ‘BattleBots’ As Summer Reality Series

The battling robots are back! Twelve years after BattleBots ended its run on Comedy Central, ABC has picked up a reimagined take of the killer robot combat sport, from Whalerock Industries and the creators of the original BattleBots franchise, Ed Roski and Greg Munson. Former ABC topper Lloyd Braun executive produces the project, which has received a six-episode order to air this summer.

Like the original, the new series will feature homemade robots battling against each other in a single elimination tournament style format, until there is one champion. Of course, it will bring the franchise to 2015 with next generation robots – bigger, faster and stronger. The show also will have a greater emphasis on the design and build elements of each robot, the bot builder backstories, their intense pursuit of the championship and the spectacle of the event. There will be cash prizes for winners in the Championship Rounds.

Separate weight classes will be eliminated so that robots of all sizes will battle against each other. (In the original BattleBots tournaments, robots were divided into four categories: Lightweight – 60 pounds; Middleweight – 120 pounds; Heavyweight – 220 pounds and Superheavyweight – 340 pounds)

State of the Art Onboard Technology and Cameras will be used for combat analytics. MGM Television, which has a development deal with Whalerock Industries, will be distributing the program internationally. Executive Producers are Braun, Chris Cowan, Roski and Munson.

A couple of years ago, Discovery Channel tried to launch a series with the same basic concept, Robogeddon, from producers James Cameron and Mark Burnett.

The BattleBots company launched robot competitions in 1999. That led to five semi-annual BattleBots tournaments, which were televised as a primetime series on Comedy Central. It premiered on 2000 and ran for five seasons. Here are some top BattleBots moments:

This is a surpassingly masculine series for ABC whose brand has been female-focused, including its unscripted franchises, The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars. The network has been looking to expand its male-friendly footprint with shows like Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.





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