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It’s been a year filled with bringing back old TV projects for new audiences, but MTV2’s latest announcement is among the most out of the blue announcements. This week, the network revealed that it has ordered a pilot for a new version of Celebrity Deathmatch in the hopes the project will return to television. MTV2 has also picked up two unscripted programs starring Charlemagne and Tyga.
A lot of the details look to be the same on the Celebrity Deathmatch continuation. Similar to past episodes, the brand new MTV2 pilot will be animated, and original Celebrity Deathmatch creator Eric Fogel (and Wasteland Entertainment) is behind the new pilot. Which celebrities will fight to the death in the new pilot have yet to be revealed, although it will likely be some pretty famous individuals. In addition, there will be one notable change. THR says the show will rework its formatting in some ways to make it more workable for an audience that is highly in touch with social media.
This won’t be the first time Celebrity Deathmatch has come back from the dead. The original series ran in the late nineties up until 2002, producing 78 episodes that featured directors fighting directors (Spike Lee vs. Quentin Tarantino), talk show hosts fighting talks show hosts (Jerry Springer vs. Rosie O’Donnell vs. Oprah Winfrey), comedians fighting comedians (Adam Sandler vs. Chris Rock), singers taking on singers (Michael Jackson vs. Madonna); the list goes on and on.
After the show was cancelled in 2002, it eventually made its way over to MTV2, which picked up Celebrity Deathmatch in 2005. Although it premiered to pretty high ratings a decade ago, it didn’t last long, and was cancelled by MTV2 in 2007.
Of all of the shows that are coming back from the dead, Celebrity Deathmatch at least makes a little bit of sense. Although violent and pretty gimmicky, the series is well-remembered by audiences and could drive a new audience if it does move forward to series. I have more faith in Celebrity Deathmatch than I do in Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? and NBC’s nostalgic return to Coach. I do, however, have less faith in MTV2’s return to the nineties than I do with Fox’s The X-Files limited series. Granted, the ratings expectations are clearly much higher over at Fox.
In addition to the Celebrity Deathmatch pilot, MTV 2 has greenlit Kingin' With Tyga and Uncommon Sense With Charlamagne tha God. The first series will follow the rapper around. The second series will follow the radio host and TV personality on his own talk show. We’ll let you know when the new shows hit the network.