NBC, MGM AND REVEILLE ENTER ARENA WITH UPDATED PRIMETIME SERIES VERSION OF POPULAR 'AMERICAN GLADIATORS' HIT FOR A NEW GENERATION
BURBANK - August 23, 2007 -- NBC is reinventing the classic physical competition series "American Gladiators" with a big-arena attitude as a mid-season primetime series from MGM Television and Reveille, it was announced today by Craig Plestis, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, Development and Specials, NBC Entertainment.
"This memorable series was once a worldwide phenomenon, and given its built-in appeal, we feel it's time to re-introduce it to a new generation and take it to a heightened level of excitement for fans of all ages," said Plestis. "The 'gladiator' brand is unlike anything on television today, and is event programming at its biggest and best."
"'American Gladiators' is a successful MGM franchise that is ready for a whole new generation of TV viewers," said Jim Packer, co-president, MGM Worldwide Television. "The timing to bring the franchise back is perfect and NBC is the ideal home. We are also excited about partnering with Reveille, which marks the first time we have teamed together on a co-production."
MGM Television will handle international sales of the series and will assist Reveille in setting up locally produced versions outside of the US. "American Gladiators has long been viewed as a path-breaking concept. In taking this franchise around the world, we are sure to reach new levels of excitement and viewer interest," said Gary Marenzi, co-president, MGM Worldwide Television.
"The opportunity to work with MGM and NBC to reinvent one of the first great reality formats - especially one that fits in with our brand of fun, family, event programming - is a dream come true," added "American Gladiators" executive producer and Reveille Managing Director Mark Koops. "We are so psyched we are ready to take on the gladiators ourselves!"
The iconic event/competition show returns with a fresh modern reinvention for the 21st century. Using splashy twists including special effects, water skills and the latest technology, the classic games will be upgraded with even higher thrills, impact, energy and spectacle.
Celebrating the everyday, true American heroes -- weekend warriors who excel and take pride in their physical fitness -- contestants will go up against the show's gladiators -- charismatic and eclectic warriors -- in the ultimate David & Goliath battle. As in MGM's traditional "American Gladiators" franchise, everyday amateur athletes compete against action stars and stunt professionals in contests of physical strength and endurance. The series will include such classic events as The Joust, The Wall, Hang Tough and the Eliminator.
The eight new gladiators (four men and four women) are action-adventure stars ready to take down the everyday challengers with hard knocks and explosive attitudes. Contestants, both male and female, will also be extremely fit but as an added bonus, will also have the chance to train for the match, displaying their physicality, coordination and cunning to viewers in advance of the competition. Each challenger will also have a unique story to tell -- and a compelling reason why they need to win. These unsung heroes combine brawn and heart in their effort to be worthy competitors, which the audience can cheer for against the villainous gladiators.
Produced by MGM Television and Reveille (NBC's "The Office" and "The Biggest Loser," "Nashville Star," "Ugly Betty"), "American Gladiators" is currently casting for contestants.
Reveille's Mark Koops and Howard Owens are executive producers. David Hurwitz ("Fear Factor") will also serve as an executive producer alongside the series creator Johnny Ferraro.
"American Gladiators" originated as a weekly syndicated show in the U.S., airing from 1989 through 1996. The show also spurred equally successful international versions in the United Kingdom, Latin America, Australia, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, South Africa and Japan.
Founded in March 2002 by Ben Silverman (now Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios), Reveille is a leading independent production and distribution company focused on exploiting worldwide intellectual property rights through scripted and alternative television formats. Reveille produces innovative entertainment programming across all television genres such as the Emmy Award-winning "The Office" (NBC), which has also received two Television Critics Association Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Peabody Award; "Ugly Betty" (ABC), winner of two Golden Globe Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award as well as a Peabody Award, an NAACP Image Award and a GLAAD Media Award; "The Biggest Loser" (NBC); "Identity" (NBC); "House of Boateng" (Sundance Channel); "30 Days" (FX); "Blow Out" (Bravo); "Bound For Glory" (ESPN); "Nashville Star" (USA); "Date My Mom" (MTV); and "The Restaurant" (NBC). Reveille is also the world leader in creating integrated marketing opportunities for leading advertisers while developing alternative financing paradigms. In addition, Reveille distributes its growing library of programming, along with a broad array of programming acquired from independent producers and U.S. networks, to more than 150 countries worldwide through Reveille International. The company also creates, acquires and develops a broad slate of diverse films through its feature film division, Reveille Motion Pictures.
About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., through its operating subsidiaries is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,000 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., Ventanazul, MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Worldwide Digital Media, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching nearly 110 countries. MGM ownership is as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), TPG (21%), Sony Corporation of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%). For more information, visit www.mgm.com.