The easiest way to get a new TV show greenlit nowadays is to bring back an old show and put a fresh coat of paint on it. That’s what ABC is doing with BattleBots, which had a five season run on Comedy Central between 2000 and 2002. ABC has brought BattleBots back for a six episode run this summer, and three familiar faces from the world of sports will be involved.
Molly McGrath, Chris Rose, and Kenny Florian will all be on BattleBots, with McGrath serving as the show’s host and the Rose/Florian combo serving as the commentary team. McGrath is the co-host of America’s Pregame on Fox Sports 1 and has worked the sidelines for the NFL, college football, and college basketball. Rose currently co-hosts MLB Network’s Intentional Talk along with Kevin Millar, and hosts a variety of NFL Network studio shows. Florian is a former UFC fighter, co-hosts Fox Sports 1’s UFC Tonight along with Daniel Cormier, and is a color commentator on a variety of UFC shows next to Jon Anik.
Those three will be joined on BattleBots by judges Fon Davis, Jessica Chobot, and Leland Melvin, and by ring announcer Faruq Tauheed.
BattleBots always had a bit of a sports tilt to it when it aired on Comedy Central. Former ESPN personality Sean Salisbury (remember him?!) did play-by-play alongside Bil Dwyer for three seasons before being replaced by former NFL on Fox commentator Tim Green for the final two seasons.
While we’re on the topic of rebooting TV shows…can ABC bring back Whodunnit? and load it up with former sports stars? That was one of the most campy summer shows ever, and I’ pretty sure the only people that actually watched it were fellow AA staffer Josh Gold-Smith and I. Just imagine someone like say, Jose Canseco trying to pretend a mountain lion was attacking him. Now *that* would be a fantastic summer show.