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NBC Orders More American Gladiators

NBC ordered a second run of its American Gladiatorsremake and the show’s owner, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, is backing it with a new Web site, live tour and animated series.

The network added the second run after the show had the biggest debut of any rookie this season with a 5.9 rating Jan. 6, a Sunday. A network source admitted that the number beat internal projections, which were in the low-four range. A second episode the next night earned a strong 4.8.

To try and capitalize, MGM is rolling out a cross-city live tour along with Reveille and Flor-Jon Films. MGM and Flor-Jon owner Johnny Ferraro also put a new Gladiators cartoon series into development.

MGM Jan. 28 will also launch a new site at that will feature re-digitalized clips from the original series.

NBC Universal co-chairman Ben Silverman also confirmed that the 12 gladiators had been steroid-tested as part of their medical examinations, and they were also required to sign documents saying that they were clean and that they could be tested at any time.