The return of Gladiators: Taking on Summer sport with 90s nostalgia

Gladiators 2024

Rod Prosser: “We have a really strong legacy via Network 10 with younger demographics”

In 2024, Channel 10 will be basting out the warpaint as Gladiators makes its return to Australian screens, hosted by Liz Ellis and Beau Ryan.

In a new gladiatorial arena, the Gladiators’ and Contenders’ skills will be tested as they take part in a series of new events, alongside classic challenges including Hang Tough, Duel, The Wall, Power Ball, Pyramid, and The Eliminator.

See Also: 10 reveals the cast of Gladiators Australia 2024

Mediaweek spoke with Paramount ANZ’s chief sales officer Rod Prosser and head of lifestyle programming Tamara Simoneau about bringing Gladiators back in all its shiny, 90s-inspired glory.

Rod Prosser Tamara Simoneau

Rod Prosser and Tamara Simoneau

Between the recent love for all things 90s and the need to bring an alternative to Summer programming, Prosser said that “now is the perfect time” to bring the Gladiators format back to Aussie screens. 

We are really capitalising on the 90s nostalgia, which is a TV trend at the minute. We’ve really seen, particularly with the launch of our FAST offering, a whole new wave of demographics and generations coming back into TV. Also, this particular format has got legacy and history with a large cohort of people. 

“Really importantly, it’s a solid alternative to the summer of sport that’s on the other networks. Sport always does well, but we have a really solid competitor with this particular format. We know from I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! that when we have good, fun, family-friendly content as an alternative, people come in droves.”

With Gen Z leading the 90s revival, Prosser says that all demographics are important to Paramount, but younger demos are a particular focus point.

“We have a really strong legacy via Network 10 with younger demographics. With our content slate, FAST channels, and what we’re doing with our linear channels, we do still have a younger median age, so we need to cater to those audiences

“Television and Total TV is still a great vehicle to reach those audiences. They’re harder to attract and very advertiser-friendly.”

Taking on Summer sport is no mean feat, and Prosser said that there are a number of reasons that Gladiators was the right choice to go up against it.

“It’s a noisy format, the production quality is high, and it’s very family-friendly. The important thing – particularly, selfishly, from a commercial point of view – is that we have a format that lends itself to brand integration, it’s advertiser-friendly. 

“From a content-led lens, we know that we need to have a solid alternative to sport and that means something broad that really opens it up to the family. It would be remiss of me not to mention the importance of co-viewing and getting the family together in the lounge room.”

Ultimately, it’s a format that brands are able to get involved with across the board, with Prosser saying that “it has a raft of opportunities that advertisers can get involved in, with leaderboards and the like.”

“For us, it’s really about finding the opportunity to seamlessly integrate brands so it doesn’t feel forced, and that that our viewers also have a great viewing experience. 

“We’ve worked really closely with the Warner Brothers team to ensure that we’ve got really strong integration opportunities that are meaningful for the brands, but also for our viewers.”


It won’t just be linear TV that the format makes an impact on either, with Prosser predicting big things for Gladiators in digital as well.

“This particular format is going to bring innovation to the screens, but also to our digital platforms. There’s a suite of ad products that we will bring to advertisers to really heighten ad engagement for brands. 

The market has really been quite delighted with how it’s all been packaged together. We got a lot of enthusiasm from advertisers, brands, and agencies around the format, so we’re looking forward to bringing it to air.”

Honouring the Original Format

One of the original creators of the show, Johnny C. Ferraro, will be returning to the show as an executive producer.

“Together with the stellar Warner Bros. International Television Production team, we have reimagined one of the most exciting and iconic sports entertainment gameshows in the world, Gladiators,” said Simoneau.

“Our powerhouse lineup of Gladiators and Contenders are put through their paces in a series of iconic events made famous in the original series, along with brand-new challenges.

“Having the original creators of Gladiators endorse our version is a massive plus and confirms that we are bringing a great show to existing fans and new audiences.”

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