The revisiting of gladiatorial TV trends championed by '80s-plundering perfect exec storm Ben Silverman has proven to be a non-risk worth taking for NBC. Now, with news that a British edition will be following suit, American Idol sourpuss Simon Cowell has announced plans to produce his own version of the arena bloodsport. While details are still under wraps, industry insiders predict Simon Cowell's Gladiators will veer from the original in several key regards:
· Cowell and his co-judges can emerge from behind their desk at any moment and bludgeon a contestant to death with a Coca Cola-branded baseball bat.
· Competitors will not only have to outplay the Gladiators, but also demonstrate that they possess an innate, star-making quality, which Cowell calls the "G-Force." Otherwise, as he puts it, "I think to myself, 'So what?' I could see that kind of foam-baton jousting match on virtually any cruise deck in the Mediterranean."
· In the final event, The Paulanator, competitors will be required to transport a slack, comatose Paula Abdul through a challenging gauntlet, up a backwards-moving conveyor belt, and finally toss the singer's dead weight into a pool of ice water in the hopes of reviving her. Should she lose her weave at any point in the course, a five second penalty will be automatically dispensed.
- Cowell is ITV's new Gladiator [thesun.co.uk]