In what I thought was a great idea (and that's not sarcasm) NBC is planning on bringing back the hit (well, hit may be an overstatement) show American Gladiators. I'm all for bringing back the show, mostly for nostalgia purposes, as I remember watching the show as a kid and loving it. Hosted by Mike Adamle and Larry Csonka (and even Joe Theismann for a time), the show was ridiculous, but in an entertaining way. The Joust. The Eliminator. And the Gladiators, like Zap and Ice and Storm and well, that's all I remember.
You can watch the old repeats of American Gladiators on ESPN Classic, but in 2008, a remake of the show will air on NBC and according to TV website Zap2It the show will have a new host: Hulk Hogan. Yes, the former professional wrestler, movie actor (I refuse to call the man who starred in such hits as Mr. Nanny and Suburban Commando as a movie "star") and reality television personality will now add "American Gladiator host" to his resume.
Pro-wrestling legend and VH1 reality star Hulk Hogan is on board to serve as the show's host. Though the deal is still being finalized, TV Week reports that both NBC and the Hulkster (real name: Terry Bollea) are gung-ho about the series, which is likely to find a midseason berth on the network.
As with the original series, which aired in syndication for much of the 1990s, the new "American Gladiators" will feature amateur athletes facing off in a series of combative challenges against a group of professional "gladiators." The show is a pet project of NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman, who was developing a version of the show at his company, Reveille, before taking his new job. Reveille remains involved with the project.
I'll check out the new American Gladiator, but I can't imagine it being better than the repeats of the original which I can watch each night. And the addition of Hogan, while potentially entertaining in the short term, is more likely to be annoying in the long run. We'll see though, maybe Hogan will surpise.