ABC is Bringing ‘Battlebots’ Back to Television

By February 8, 2015
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It was exactly 15 years ago that Comedy Central, who hadn’t quite yet become the cable giant known for the great original programming that they are today, brought the surprisingly non-funny series “BattleBots” to television. And now it’s coming back, but on a different network.

The original iteration of the show was an edited presentation of a tournament that featured engineers using remote-controlled armed and armored machines designed to fight in a combat arena for robot superiority. And now ABC is reimagining that concept with Whalerock Industries and Ed Roski and Greg Munson, creators of the original “BattleBots.”

The series will only run for six episodes to air this summer, and will follow a single elimination tournament style leading to the crowning of a single champion. That’s much less of a season than Comedy Central gave the show, which originally ran 94 episodes over five seasons between 2000 and 2002.

Here’s how the official press release describes the new iteration of “BattleBots” from ABC:

The new series promises to wow viewers with next generation robots – 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.

There will be separate weight classes for the robots as well: Lightweight – 60 pounds; Middleweight – 120 pounds; Heavyweight – 220 pounds and Superheavyweight – 340 pounds. In addition, State of the Art Onboard Technology and Cameras will provide audiences with enhanced viewing and combat analytics. The winners in the championship rounds will also receive cash prizes in addition to bragging rights.

Making this a smaller summer event series is the smart way to go, if only because these tournaments can get mundane and lack excitement from time-to-time. It’s certainly no Olympics, but in the past 15 years, surely robot technology has advanced quite a bit, so that should make the homemade robots more interesting, and thereby the battles as well. So get ready to rumble, geeks!

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.