Gladiators 2000 is a spin-off television show of American Gladiators. It is hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Maria Sansone (replaced by Valarie Rae Miller in Season 2). Season 5 American Gladiators grand champion Peggy Odita served as head referee. It premiered on September 17, 1994 and ran until May 11, 1996. It was often partnered with its parent show in syndication, however some markets ran it independently. Like AG, the series was produced by Four Point Entertainment, and distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Television. In response to the popularity of NBC's 2008 revival of American Gladiators, the show was brought back in syndicated reruns for the 2008-2009 television season, being eligible for the FCC's "E/I" requirements.
In Gladiators 2000, two teams of two child competitors would team up with two Gladiators (one in Season 2) as coaches and compete by running through a series of events, and answering questions on various subjects along the way. While some props and sets were retained, the rules for each event were drastically altered.
A British version of this show was developed, known as Gladiators: Train2Win.
The contenders faced a pyramid made of crash mats, containing over-sized foods representing each of the five steps in the food pyramid. Each team grabbed one item from each level (two from the grains group, since humans need more portions of it than the others) within 90 seconds, earning points for placing each food in a bin. Teams earned a bonus if they hit a sensor at the top of the pyramid after the food items were cleared from their half of the pyramid.
The contenders are attached to bungee cords, with each contender having an outline of a human body. A bunch of bones fell to the floor, and each contender had to grab a bone and place it on their outline, scoring 5 points for a successful placement. The Gladiators could help the kids up if the bone was too high for placement, but they couldn't tell them where it went.
The Gladiators had 90 seconds to make it through a course that spanned the entire arena floor length, firing off weapons to hit a target located near the Contender, while avoiding high-speed tennis balls fired at them from a cannon. The Gladiator had some protection from the contender's tennis balls, but could still be hit while in a safe zone if the shot was accurate enough.
The kids shot the cannon, and after 45 seconds or 15 (out of 30) shots, the teammates switched positions. In between each safe zone, the Gladiator had to climb a rope ladder to a marked rung, walk a balance beam, and jump from circle to circle. The team got 10 points for each hit on the gladiator, The Gladiator earned 5 points for each target hit with the weapons, but if the Gladiator cheated on the obstacles between safe zones (not touching the mark on the rope ladder, not jumping to each circle, etc.), they won no points.
This event had two formats, but in both the object for the contender was to jump from a platform using a bungee cord, use their momentum to propel themselves from the floor to a cylinder with red, yellow, and blue colored scoring balls, grab one, then spring back to their platform and deposit them in a bin.
Season 1: Balls were of mixed colors on 5 tiers. The contenders earned 5 points for blue (carbs), 3 points for red (proteins), 1 point for yellow (fat). All 4 contenders went at once, and they had 60 seconds to compete.
Season 2: The game switched to traditional swingshot, using the lower of 2 velcro strips, and no Gladiators. Red balls were 5, Blue 3, Yellow 1, and only 2 kids went at a time. 60 seconds was still the time limit.
A 32-foot rock-climbing wall stood in front of the contenders in this event. The object was to make it to the top. Again, two formats were used.
Season 1: Each kid had 90 seconds to climb the wall, 2 at a time. The wall was colored into zones, a different zone got the contender more points (Green 0, Blue 5, Pink 10, Purple 15, Red 20). As in AG, 10 points were awarded to the contender who could get to the top first, the second player up got five, for a possible score of 55 or 60 points. If a contender fell, they could start back up, but lost all points earned.
Season 2: Similar to season 1, but only 2 climbed the wall instead of all 4, the zones were numbered, and a 5 point bonus could be earned for correctly matching some sort of trivia-of-the-day after achieving each new zone.
After each event, each team was asked a question about a lesson that was taught for that day (and was the basis for the events). A correct answer earned 25 points.
A special bonus was used in Season 2, played after Swingshot only, and based on Powerball. The kids used their balls grabbed in Swingshot to answer questions on what was taught for the day. A list of was given, and the kid had to put the ball in the appropriate Powerball cylinder (which were labelled with continents, for example) for each item in 30 seconds, tagging off after each item. 5 points were awarded for each correct answer.
This was the final event of the day, an obstacle course in which both teams took turns relay-style.
One teammate started by climbing a ladder, going down a slide, swinging across a short path of hang tough rings, towards a pair of spinning logs or a ballpit split into two sections. Each log or section represented an answer to a question; the player must run across the log or go through the appropriate section of the ballpit that represents their guess, earning 25 points for a correct answer.
After that, the player jumps off a platform, and comes to two doors, again each one representing an answer to another 25-point question. The correct answer had its door unlocked; if the player chooses the locked door (and in turn, the wrong answer), they have to go back and through the other one.
After going through the door, the player tags their partner, who is show another 25-point question, this time represented by one of two ropes hanging off a plexiglass wall. Regardless of whether the player chooses the right rope, they are given three tries to go over, if they fail, they can go around.
After this, the player must run up a reverse treadmill (after 2 bona fide attempts, the contender was allowed to go up the side), they must then face one more 25-point question, represented by two ropes leading to two paper barriers. They must swing through the appropriate barrier. This also stops the clock. The team with the fastest time earns an additional 50 points, for a possible score of 150 points.
Both teams receive prizes, but the team with the highest score wins extra bonus prizes.