‘American Gladiators’ Doc Set For ESPN’s 30 For 30 From Vice Studios & ‘The Amazing Johnathan Documentary’ Director Ben Berman

AMERICAN GLADIATORS, contestant Phil Villapiano (center), 'Pro Football Challenge of Champions:
Courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Television/ Everett Collection

EXCLUSIVE: A documentary about American Gladiators, widely considered one of the first reality competition series, is set as ESPN’s latest 30 for 30.

Deadline understands that the untitled documentary, which explores the story of the show, which ran from 1989 to 1996 and was later rebooted by NBC in 2008, comes from Vice Studios and ESPN Films.

The project will feature many of the larger than life former Gladiators, as well as Johnny Ferraro, who has been referred to as ‘the Godfather of reality television.”

The show, which aired in syndication was created by Ferraro and Dan Carr, matched a cast of amateur athletes against each other as well as against the show’s gladiators.

Ben Berman, who directed The Amazing Johnathan Documentary, which followed the final tour of a dying magician and aired at Sundance in 2019, will helm the doc.

It is ESPN’s latest 30 for 30; the 2019/2020 season of the long-running sports doc brand featured filmed including Rodman: For Better or Worse, Vick, Lance, Bruce Lee’s Be Water, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s Long Gone Summer and The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius.

It is produced by Vice Studios, the production arm of the youth-skewing media company behind docs such as Netflix’s Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened and Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, Vice TV’s Dark Side of the Ring and FX’s AKA Jane Roe.

Danny Gabai, Jannat Gargi and Andrew Freston exec produce for Vice Studios.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2021/04/american-gladiators-doc-espn-30-for-30-vice-studios-ben-berman-1234732187/