American Gladiators (original series)
In reality TV, popular formats never really die — think the frequently revived Candid Camera — they just go into hibernation. Next to awaken is American Gladiators.
Executive producer Arthur Smith (Hell's Kitchen), who has turned the competition series American Ninja Warrior into a summer smash for NBC, is giving the 1990s syndicated hit (briefly brought back in 2008 by NBC) a modern makeover.
American Gladiators (The Original Series): The Battle Begins
The new version of American Gladiators may be canceled, but you can relive the original series with Shout! Factory's release of American Gladiators: The Battle Begins. This 3-disc set includes the second half (13 episodes) of the first season, plus a special episode that recaps the first 13 episodes. Join Blaze, Gemini, Gold, Lace, Laser, Malibu, Nitro, Sunny, Titan and Zap as they battle male and female contestants looking to walk away with the title of "Grand Champion."
The set also includes insightful commentary from former Gladiators Dan "Nitro" Clark, Jim "Laser" Starr and Raye "Zap" Hollitt, as well as an interview with actor/contestant Billy Wirth (The Lost Boys).
Buy American Gladiators The Battle Begins on Amazon.com
ER - Season 11
New releases announced today, March 18:
American Gladiators - The Original Series: The Battle Begins will be coming out July 14
Burn Notice - Season 2 (Blu-ray) will be coming out June 16
Charles In Charge - Season 4 will be coming out March 24
ER - The Complete 11th Season will be coming out July 14
G.I. Joe - A Real American Hero: Season 1, Part 1 will be coming out July 21
Peyton Place - Part 2 will be coming out July 14
Torchwood - The Complete 2nd Series (Blu-ray) will be coming out July 7
Visit TVShowsOnDVD.com for the complete stories on these and other news items.
Question: Just a little rant I feel I need to share. Though I know it has gone down in ratings, American Gladiators is not a bad show. I certainly understand people putting down many of the crazy reality shows and game shows you don't even need a brain or be physically active to play. But American Gladiators is different: There's competition, and it shows you how in shape some of these people of all different ages are. This show is cheesy, but it's good, clean fun, especially for the kids. There's such a variety of contestants — like the man with the prosthetic leg, that was unbelievable! You were rooting for him to make it to the end, and it felt good. It's featured regular people, best friends, married people, a deaf man and now, people who have lost weight. It can be very inspiring. Watching them do some of these challenges is fun and incredible. I could never do any of them, I'm sure. Don't get me wrong: I enjoy shows like Lost, 24, Burn Notice and The Closer, but given all the ...
Breaux "Hurricane" Greer by Paul Drinkwater/NBC Photo
While most Olympic hopefuls spent the last few months devoutly focused on training for Beijing, Breaux Greer lived up to his rebellious reputation with a unique form of cross training. The 31-year-old javelin star did a stint on America Gladiators, beginning tonight and running throughout the remainder of the season (Mondays, 8 pm/ET, NBC).Greer is an eight-time national champion in the javelin and won the bronze medal at last year's world championships, making him a serious threat to reach the podium at the Olympics in August. So why risk injury on something as goofy as Gladiators? The quote that I live my life is, I was not here to be a background character in someone elses movie, he says. A fan of the original series, the high-strung Greer was eager to jump into events like the Pyramid and Powerball. "The best part of all of this to me is I can beat the hell out of anybody and no police will be involved," he jokes. (We think!) "Im not holding ...
Will Smith by Lester Cohen/WireImage.com
Against the backdrop of Burbank's deep valley, the 2008 MTV Movie Awards attracted some of the biz's hottest stars, from both the establishment and the rising Hollywood set. Just beyond the gold carpet, a huge cloud of black smoke hovered from the fire at Universal Studios, but the incident didn't stop the crush of celebs, press and fans that filled the arrivals area of the Gibson Amphitheater.Making his way into the event, Best Week Ever's Doug Benson acknowledged the unseemly juxtaposition, joking, "I'm not on fire. It's not hot enough out here as it is. Let's get some soot, difficult breathing conditions. This is perfect!" Fitting the spirit of the awards, Benson sported a '420' tee under his jacket, an oddly prescient choice given Seth Rogen and James Franco's joint-smoking moment during the show. At any given time, the gold carpet was filled with stars, their entourages, Elle Woods wannabes and production assistants, scurrying back and forth. Among some of the passersby was Wil...
American Gladiators by Peter Hopper Stone/NBC Photo
Monday's numbers:8 pm/ETDWTS was the night's most watched program, delivering 18.27 million total viewers (up 370K week-to-week). Bones rebounded from last week's slip to score 9.4 mil. CBS' Big Bang (7.88 mil, +320 thou) and Mother (9.02 mil, up 670K) both saw gains. American Gladiators returned to an audience of 4.9 mil, or 37 percent less than what Deal or No Deal was getting there. Gossip Girl (2.64 mil) added 530 thou.9 pmHouse surged 2.1 mil to deliver 14.84 mil, while CBS' Men (13.7 mil) and Rules (10.7 mil) enjoyed typical numbers. Samantha Who? did 11.03 mil, up 510 thou. One Tree Hill (2.65 mil) gained 450K.10 pmCSI: Miami dipped 200K but still trounced all comers with 13.65 mil. The Bachelor finale (9.18 mil) edged out Medium's own season-ender (8.57 mil, slipping almost a mil).
Question: In a recent column, Robert R. wrote that when he sees "the once-great NBC stocking its schedule with schlock," he worries about the future of television. I have seen this NBC-bashing sentiment a lot lately (even by you) as people wail about harmless new shows like My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad (which my little nephew loves) or American Gladiators. But really, what is NBC supposed to do? Every time it's tried to program "quality" shows recently — Friday Night Lights, Life, Chuck, 30 Rock, etc. — the ratings have been pathetic. Even The Office, which is considered a "hit," gets half the audience of CBS' Two and a Half Men. If no one watches those shows, what incentive does NBC have to create better programming? I love all the series mentioned above, plus Journeyman, Heroes and Scrubs; most of my faves are on the bubble or already canceled. If you were "fixing" NBC, what would you do?
Answer: Thankfully, it's not my job to "fix" any network, nor would I be so presumptuous. It has
American Gladiators by Trae Patton/NBC Photo
Thanks to a schedule full of America-centric titles, NBC is dubbing its off-season an "All-American Summer," Variety reports. The network is getting behind the return of American Gladiators and America's Got Talent as a patriotic buildup to the Olympics in August. Although the network is waving the red, white and blue, the Peacock's true colors this summer will be reality television. In addition to nonscripted shows on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the network is devoting an entire Monday-night block to reality shows, including the newly relocated Nashville Star.NBC does, however, have plans for a few scripted shows, including its recently announced horror anthology series Fear Itself. But if for some reason those shows dont make it, NBC could just air a waving American flag for 22 minutes. Adam BryantRelated: NBC Hopes to Scare Up Ratings with Fear Itself
Mike O'Hearn, Rachel Melvin by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC
Mike O'Hearn aka "Titan" on NBC's American Gladiators will guest-star on Days of our Lives on Friday, March 14. Playing a barkeep, O'Hearn finds Chelsea (Rachel Melvin) drowning her sorrows over the Brady bunch's recent tragedies. Though Kate shows up and tries to stop her granddaughter from getting sloshed, insisting that she is not the cause of the family's woes, Chelsea won't listen. O'Hearn's bartender offers Chelsea some coffee to sober her up, but instead she storms out of the bar. The following week: A My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad NBC cross-promotion, pitting Bo against John! (I kid.... I think.) Matt Mitovich