Gladiators, the U.K version of American Gladiators and a show that became a staple of British Saturday night TV in the 1990s, is getting a reboot.
Confirming rumors that emerged last month, the BBC has revealed it is the new home for the spandex-friendly, muscle-flexing entertainment show, which originally ran on ITV from October 1992 to January 2000 (Sky had a short-lived revival that lasted just a year between 2008 and 2009).
The eleven-episode series — made by Hungry Bear Media (behind BBC game show Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel) and MGM Television U.K. (part of the Amazon-owned MGM, which owns American Gladiators) — is set to land on screens in 2023 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, with brand new games alongside some of the original classic challenges, culminating in the classic head-to-head race, The Eliminator.
“Gladiators is back and a whole new generation of viewers can now look forward to watching a Saturday night spectacle like no other,” said the BBC’s director of unscripted, Kate Phillips.
“Gladiators is a format that resonates with viewers worldwide,” added Scot Cru, executive vp of global formats and unscripted content, MGM Television. “We are thrilled to bring this revered series to the BBC and can’t wait to introduce our U.K. gladiators.”
Filming is due to take place at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield in 2023.
“It’s the perfect time for Gladiators to return,” said Dan Baldwin, managing director of Hungry Bear. “What other show combines electric excitement, superheroes, giant sponge fingers, elite athletes, and a pinch of pantomime?”
Dom Bird, senior vp for international unscripted TV at MGM added: “MGM U.K. is incredibly excited to deliver a huge show with the scale, energy and drama that Saturday nights on BBC One are made for. It’s going to be an epic series, pushing our next-level gladiators and contestants to the very limits of their physical abilities.”