You are currently using an unsupported web browser. For the best experience using the Talent Manager website please consider upgrading your browser.

The BBC has confirmed it is reviving game show Gladiators and is eyeing a reboot of reality format Survivor as the debate over resurrecting formats continues.

BBC Director of unscripted TV Kate Phillips confirmed Gladiators will return with an 11-part series on BBC1 next year, made by Hungry Bear Studios and MGM Television UK and filmed at the Utilita Arena Sheffield.

This comes some 23 years since ITV wrapped up its original nine-year run and 14 years after Sky’s brief revival of the format.

Phillips described Gladiators as “big, joyous, escapist TV” and teased the Edinburgh TV Festival audience with the prospect of another former ITV show, Survivor, coming to the BBC in due course.

The international survival format, which maroons castaways on a desert island, was originally produced by Planet 24 and ran for two series in 2001 and 2002.

Phillips confirmed: “We’re looking at that at the moment. We are not announcing anything yet.”

The topic of reviving shows and formats has been a recurring theme at Edinburgh, spearheaded by ITV2’s upcoming Big Brother reboot.

Channel 4 chief content officer Ian Katz said he preferred to focus on new ideas, pointing to a “microwave culture” of reheated ideas.

BBC chief content officer Charlotte Moore pointed to C4’s The Great British Bake Off, a former BBC show, adding:

“I don’t think it’s that easy to bring titles back and be successful. I think it would be a problem if that’s all we were doing. But there’s no doubt that these big programmes have an impact. But that’s not all we do.”

The BBC announced three factual commissions at the festival, including a doc fronted by Strictly Come Dancing 2021 winner Rose Ayling-Ellis and the third instalment of the Blue Planet natural history franchise, plus a new Catherine Tate comedy and a sitcom from the co-writer of Peter Kay’s Car Share.

Meanwhile, Cardiff has been chosen as the BBC’s ‘City of Comedy’ for next year.

BBC commissions:


Signs For Change (w/t)
Rogan Productions, 1 x 60 minutes
Executive producers: Soleta Rogan, Nancy Bornat
Creative director: James Rogan

Blue Planet III
BBC Studios Natural History Unit, 6 x 60 minutes
Executive producer: Mark Brownlow

Spy Wars: The Eighties (BBC2)
BBC Studios, 3 x 60 minutes
Executive producer: Abigail Priddle


Hungry Bear Media/MGM Television UK, 11 x 60 minutes
Executive producers: Dan Baldwin, Dom Bird


Queen Of Oz
Lingo Pictures, 6 x 30 minutes
Writers: Catherine Tate, Jeff Gutheim
Producer: Michele Bennett
Director: Christiaan Van Vuuren
Executive producers: Catherine Tate, Helen Bowden, Ben Caudell

Undoing Martin Parker
Boffola Pictures/Lookout Point, 6 x 30 minutes
Writers: Paul Coleman, Sian Gibson
Producer: Gill Isles
Executive producers: Kate Daughton, Faith Penhale, Tanya Qureshi


Synchronicity Films, 2 x 60 minutes
Writer: Andrea Gibb
Producer: Brian Kaczynski
Director: Peter Mackie Burns
Executive producers: Claire Mundell, Andrea Gibb, Andrew O’Hagan, Gaynor Holmes, Gavin Smith

Need Help?