‘American Gladiators’ Is Coming Back

American Gladiators is coming back. Yes, again. Gladiators simply refuse to die.

Everyone’s favorite childhood reality television show, which came back in 2008 for two seasons, will get another chance to entertain audiences very soon.

Executive producer Arthur Smith (Hell’s Kitchen), who has turned the competition series American Ninja Warrior into a summer smash for NBC, is giving the 1990s syndicated hit a modern makeover.

“It’s a little darker, more intense, more serious,” says Smith, who’s producing the show through his A. Smith & Co. banner with MGM. “It’s a little less red, white and blue. And there’s no spandex. Spandex has left the building.”

American Gladiators originally aired from 1989 to 1996 and featured amateur men and women as they competed against each other as well as the show’s “Gladiators,” who had names like “Nitro,” “Laser,” “Zap” and “Ice.” The show spawned several international adaptations.

That’s pretty awesome news. Please tell me they’re going to make this a campy version with the same tennis-ball-cannon challenges from the old show. That’s what people really want to see, right?

In a nod to modern times, Smith says the new American Gladiators will incorporate elements inspired by the popularity of both The Hunger Games and mixed martial arts. “Times have changed,” he says. “This one is tonally different. It’s more post-apocalyptic. But it’s the same spirit.”

Dammit! This is why can’t bring nice things back to life.

That giant missed opportunity notwithstanding, this is excellent news. We’ve gone too long without steroid-addled superhumans with stupid names pounding weekend warriors into submission. We’ve gotten too proud of ourselves as a society and need to be knocked down a peg.

That point is: if you watch this show and don’t root for the Gladiators, you’re doing it wrong. Sometimes Goliath needs to crush David’s skull to keep things interesting.

[H/T: TV Guide]