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MGM launches Gladiators 2000 in syndication at NATPE and unveils broadband super site

On the heels of the ratings success of MGM and Reveille’s hit reality series "American Gladiators" on NBC, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.’s (MGM) domestic television distribution operation is bringing "Gladiators 2000," the kids competition series starring a young Ryan Seacrest in off-network syndication. "Gladiators 2000" is a half-hour series, which was shot in the 90’s as a companion to the original "American Gladiators." In the series, teens compete in games that challenge their physical abilities as well as their knowledge of nutrition, fitness and the human body.

In making the announcement today at NATPE, Jim Packer, Co-President, MGM Worldwide Television stated: "The launch of the ’Gladiators 2000’ is a timely initiative, which fits perfectly in our multiplatform strategy for the franchise. The series offers stations a unique alternative to weekend (i.e. educational) programming and with the current success of the new NBC version of Gladiators, it’s a great fit. And we know audiences will be receptive."

"The Gladiators franchise is all about mind, body and spirit and ’Gladiators 2000’ encourages kids to get out and get fit!" said ’American Gladiators’ Executive Producer and original series creator Johnny Ferraro. "It took almost 8 years to get the first ’American Gladiators’ on television but only a few months to get ’Gladiators 2000’ on the air because of the tremendous popularity of the original series. It was a natural fit to have the kids involved and have them play the games. Bringing the show back for todays hard to reach audience is a wonderful initiative."

The launch of "Gladiators 2000" follows the studios recent announcement to take the American Gladiators franchise to a new level with a multimedia promotional campaign, which features a cross-city tour and cartoon series. "Gladiators 2000" offers a challenge to young contenders in a series of specially designed events, which place equal emphasis on self-esteem, education and competition. Each team is captained by two American Gladiators who coach and teach the kids about science, food, exercise and the human body. MGM is offering 39 episodes of the show at NATPE.

Also this week at NATPE, MGM is rolling out the new American Gladiators franchise broadband website www.americangladiators.com . The site, which launches on Wednesday, January 30, is a multimedia homage to the original "American Gladiators" series.

The site which was engineered by WhittmanHart, will feature an array of exclusive original American Gladiators downloads including: free wallpaper and screen savers, image galleries, new re-digitized video clips and behind the scenes interviews with the original gladiators. In the coming weeks, the site will also feature episode specials along with original casual video games.

"It’s exciting to synergize the studio’s American Gladiators franchise by launching americangladiators.com, an all encompassing broadband site which will be the new touch point for fans and Gladiators enthusiasts around the world," said David Rondan, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Digital Media, MGM. "We will be reintroducing the original Gladiators to a new generation of fans and give updates on where and what they are up to today. Key featured segments that will be featured on the site in the weeks to come include best hits, celebrity guest appearances and stunts performed on the vintage show."

"We are excited to be working with MGM on this project," said John Moshay, Executive Vice President, WhittmanHart Interactive. "We look forward to making it the multimedia destination for the American Gladiators franchise."

 [January 30, 2008]


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