Most of us might not want to see the hairstyles and the vibrant colors of the early 1990s make a cultural return, but when it comes to the television shows, there are a few some of us could get on board with again. For example: American Gladiators. The weekly competition series between athletic amateurs and hulking, possibly steroided out giants was a mega-hit a few decades back, and now, it seems poised to return to the airwaves via a glitzy, polished reimagining.
The exciting news was first reported by TV Guide, and while much about the adaptation is still up in the air, there are enough juicy facts to get fans pumped up. Athur Smith, the man behind Hell’s Kitchen and American Ninja Warrior, is overseeing the project, and he’s pushing it in a darker, more modern direction. The spandex is out. The red, white and blue theme has been greatly marginalized, but the same spirit of competition between the physically fit and the professionally intimidating will carry through.
No word yet on whether the new stars will be encouraged to bleach their hair…
NBC attempted to reboot American Gladiators back in 2008. They brought along Hulk Hogan and Laila Ali to help them do it, but unfortunately, the second chance never really took off. You would think that would bode poorly for this latest incarnation, but six years is a really long time in the television business. Besides, the ultimate success or failure will likely come down to how cool the challenges are and how well paced the show is. Something like this has to have momentum, and it can’t be too cheesy. The original American Gladiators didn’t feel like a big joke while it was on the air. It was legitimately cool.
At present time, the American Gladiators reboot is being shopped. As such, it hasn’t found a network yet, but with the show’s track record and Arthur Smith on board, it would be a shock if one of the major networks didn’t bite. The upside is just too lucrative, and with goofy competition shows performing well during the summer over the past few years, this one seems like a perfect fit.
That being said, I still wish there was spandex.