NBC announces Hulk Hogan to host 'American Gladiators' revival
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/04/2007
NBC has announced Hogan Knows Best patriarch and wrestling star Terrence "Hulk Hogan" Bollea will host the network's reinvented version of American Gladiators when it premieres midseason during primetime.
"Hulk Hogan is an American icon," said Craig Plestis, NBC's executive vice president of alternative programming. "For over twenty years he has been a symbol of strength and toughness in all facets of entertainment. His electrifying personality will no doubt inspire Herculean efforts from our everyday challengers. There is no one more qualified to host this program."
The 54-year-old is no stranger to the spotlight, having been crowned World Wrestling Entertainment champion numerous times and starring in several movies. Most recently, he can be seen on VH1's Hogan Knows Best docu-reality series, which first premiered in July 2005 and follows the daily life of Hogan and his wife Linda, as well as their two teenage children Brooke and Nick.
"Gladiator-mania is gonna be running wild, brother," said Hogan, who was reportedly at NBC's Burbank, CA offices earlier this week to discuss and accept the hosting position.
"Hulk Hogan is going to rock the American viewing public as the host of American Gladiators," said executive producer and Reveille managing director Howard T. Owens, who was reportedly "instrumental" in signing Hogan. "This is the ultimate television vehicle for the ultimate action television star, The Hulk!"
Similar to the original American Gladiators franchise, which aired on syndication in the U.S. from 1989 to 1996, NBC's reinvention of the show will feature amateur male and female contenders pitted against eight new gladiator professionals.
Classic American Gladiators challenges including The Joust, The Wall, HangTough, and of course, the Eliminator, will all be upgraded and featured in the reinvented version of the show, along with a mixture of new competitions designed to test physical strength and endurance.
American Gladiators will be produced by Reveille as well as MGM Television -- the show's original producers. Owens, Mark Koops and David Hurwitz will serve as executive producers for Reveille.