BattleBots is coming back to a television near you this year. ABC tried to bring back the robot battle series in 2015, but the show didn't quite work on network television, and only lasted two seasons, with ABC canceling it in 2016. However, that hasn't prevented Discovery and the Science Channel from seeing potential in bringing BattleBots back, giving it another go. While no exact premiere date has been set, the BattleBots revival is slated to return this spring and will air on both networks.
In case you aren't familiar, the general premise of the show is pretty much laid out in the title. Competitors on the show bring homemade robots they've built using any number of materials, fully equipped with weapons and defense mechanisms. The robots then do battle with one another in the arena in three-minute duels. The action is captured by cameras as announcers relay what's going on. Similar to boxing or mixed martial arts, if one of the bots isn't knocked out during that time, a panel of judges decides on a winner. Here's what Marc Etkind, general manager at Science Channel had to say about the upcoming BattleBots revival.
"BattleBots is the perfect union between cutting-edge science and entertainment. Having heard the call from robot fans clamoring for more action, we are thrilled to bring back this iconic series."
Edward P. Roski and Greg Munson, the creators of the original BattleBots franchise, are involved as executive producers on the revival series, alongside Lloyd Braun, Chris Cowan, Tom Gutteridge and Aaron Catling. Wyatt Channell will oversee the series as an executive producer for Discovery and Science Channel. Here's what Munson had to say about the upcoming revival, stating that anyone who wants to compete in BattleBots is welcome to apply and that this is a sport for "smart people."
"In BattleBots, anyone can be the champ, and all are welcome to apply. This is a sport for smart people where it's all about ideas and building something cool. BattleBots is a fight to the death, but no one gets hurt. It's the place to show off your imagination, your engineering prowess and art, and your ability to make it survive, and we couldn't be happier bringing BattleBots to Discovery. In my opinion, Discovery is the TV network where BattleBots has always belonged."
BattleBots originally aired on Comedy Central from 2000 to 2002. Including the short-lived ABC revival, there have been seven seasons of BattleBots totaling 108 episodes. At the present time, it isn't clear who will be hosting the new version of the series. There's no word on whether or not any of the old presenters, announcers or hosts will be coming back, or if Discovery and Science Channel will pursue new on-air talent. This comes after Science Channel put together a new cast for a reboot of their hit series Mythbusters. The Hollywood Reporter also doesn't have any information at this time in terms of what day of the week we'll see new episodes of BattleBots. It's also not clear if it will air at different times on Discovery and Science Channel, or if it will air on both networks simultaneously.