NBC announces 'American Gladiators' will return this summer
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/18/2008
NBC has announced its recently ordered second installment ofAmerican Gladiators will air this summer prior to the network's coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
In addition, NBC confirmed Hogan Knows Best patriarch and wrestling star Terrence "Hulk Hogan" Bollea and professional boxer and Dancing with the Stars fourth-season celebrity participant Laila Ali will reprise their co-hosting duties for American Gladiators' second edition.
NBC and American Gladiators' MGM Television and Reveille production companies are currently organizing a nationwide American Idol-like casting tour to find the next batch of amateurs who will compete on the show's second installment.
NBC's primetime revival of American Gladiatorspremiered with a special two-hour broadcast on Sunday, January 6 that averaged 12.1 million total viewers and scored a 5.9/14 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic. At the time of its premiere, American Gladiators' debut had represented the highest Adults 18-49 rating of any new-show premiere on any network so far this season (Sunday night's premiere of Fox's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has since surpassed it).
American Gladiators currently airs one-hour episodes in its regular time period of Mondays at 8PM ET/PT. Its January 7 time slot premiere averaged 10.9 million total viewers and scoring a 4.8/12 rating/share among Adults 18-49.
In addition to American Gladiators, NBC also confirmed it has plucked Nashville Star from its USA Networks sister cable network, which aired the first five seasons of the reality competition series.
Nashville Star's Summer 2008 sixth-season is also scheduled to air on NBC prior to the network's coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, which will commence August 8. Nashville Star first premiered on USA -- which like NBC, is also owned by NBC Universal -- in March 2003 and subsequently aired four more annual installments.
"These exciting new reality shows will be a vital part of 'NBC's All-American Summer' building up to the drama of the Beijing Olympics," said NBC executive Craig Plestis. "We are thrilled to feature the powerhouse Gladiators this summer and it's a real coup to bring Nashville Star to NBC."