As we know, at least some form of television exists for every imaginable niche – and automobiles are definitely one of the largest pop culture sensations among them. It has been that way ever since mass-produced Ford cars became a thing in the 1920s. No wonder that a seemingly endless array of shows about cars huddle on the spring and autumn slates of many channels of major networks. Even though Discovery, in particular, did not have any major skin in the automobile game in the last century, over the last two decades it has been slowly but steadily building up its roster of shows on all things vehicles – starting from the mainline ‘Street Outlaws’ and its many spinoffs, to the plethora of car flipping, next-gen tech in the industry and engines galore shows, the circle was complete recently in 2018 when the network had its first ever mega motor week.
That said, there are subgenres to every genre, and automobiles are no exception. Vehicular robot combat is one of the more obscure but dedicated niches among them, a natural combination between a fascination with automobiles and that with the larger robot combat genre in general. Even though it is not an officially recognized sport in any country, robot combat has its own independent Robot Combat League that organizes small-circuit arena tournaments quite frequently.
In the early ’90s, when Hotwheels was one of the highest grossing franchises at its peak form, TV was also not exempt from the trend, and many shows cropped up on car combat both in the UK and in the US. These shows underwent a revival after a brief period of downtime in the early 2000s, and ‘Robot Wars’ in the UK and ‘Battlebots’ in the USA became the mainstay paradigms for these shows. Watching robots fight it out is extremely satisfying and there is something insanely cool to it as well. We love watching mega brawls and in robot matches, since there is no actual loss of human life, the fights can be brutal and are reminiscent of the fighting pits in older days when gladiators would sally forth and fight unto death for entertainment. Anyhow, even now, in movies like ‘Pacific Rim‘ and ‘Transformers‘, our love for robot battles become apparent, and ‘Battlebots’ delivers just that. It is pure and unadulterated entertainment that has managed to draw a solid fan following over its run.
The series initially aired on Comedy Central when it first premiered on August 23, 2000. ‘Battlebots’, even though it became a hit on Comedy Central, did not run for more than two years (although becoming a prolific show, it was already on its fifth season). After more than a decade of absence ABC adopted and rebooted the show in 2015 – only to drop it in 2017, and now it has done the rounds to play itself into the hands of Discovery and Science Channel, who acquired the license and syndication in 2018. This edgy idea has been created by Greg Munson and Edward P. Roski (Trey).
Battlebots Cast: Who is in it?
Throughout the years, the show, ‘Battlebots’, has swapped numerous times between different networks, executive producers and directors – and the same applies for the narrators (or casters, as it were) and especially the hosts. Once upon a time, ‘Battlebots’ used to have a throng of celebrities selling it – the original Comedy Central run had Bill Nye, the science guy as its technical expert and famous figures like Heidi Mark as hosts.
However, the rebooted version has not shown much star power in that department – which is not to say that it does not have its fair share of a distinguished and famous cast. The later seasons of the show feature NFL caster Chris Rose, former UFC fighter Kenny Florian as commentators, and Alison Haislip as a rotating judge. Nerdist News journalist Jessica Chobot is both the announcer and the situational sideline reporter for the show. There have been several changes in the judges and presenters, and there is a good chance that the upcoming season will also see some new faces. However, what really draws the crowd is the robot battles so we hope those keep getting better with time.