“It’s robot fightin’ time!” because ABC is resurrecting Battlebots, the early-2000s series that had robots battling each other in an arena. This is totally awesome.
The new, six-episode, single-elimination series version will air this summer. The “reimagined take of the killer robot combat sport,” as ABC called it, is being produced by its original creators, Ed Roski and Greg Munson, along with production company Whalerock Industries’ Lloyd Braun and Chris Cowan.
The series debuted 15 years ago this August on Comedy Central, and lasted five seasons and 94 episodes. Robot battles that had been taking place for years, but the TV show added elements to those battles, and Comedy Central also added comedic, scripted segments in-between fights. It was hosted by Bil Dwyer and Tim Green, and featured Bill Nye as its expert commentator. For a detailed history of how the battles became a show, read SB Nation’s “an oral history of the birth and death of BattleBots.”
For the new BattleBots series, ABC promises “next generation robots” that are:
“bigger, faster and stronger than ever before. The show will have a greater emphasis on the design and build elements of each robot, the bot builder backstories, their intense pursuit of the championship and the spectacle of the event. Separate weight classes will be eliminated so that robots of all sizes will battle against each other. State of the Art Onboard Technology and Cameras will provide audiences with enhanced viewing and combat analytics. There will be cash prizes for winners in the Championship Rounds.”
In other words, it will be more of a reality competition, and also a competition that may avoid some of the problems of the original, like the way certain kinds of robots, such as the wedge, dominated.
I am very, very excited about this, and re-watching this season-five episode reminded me of the creativity and strategy that went into the creation of these robots. Also, there was the awesomeness of destruction.