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The Watchman: Bots on Collision Course on Discovery; Going Heavy on Lights on ABC

'BattleBots' (Image credit: Discovery)

Battlebots is back! Production was held up due to COVID, but a new season is under way on Discovery. Tombstone, End Game, Whiplash, SawBlaze, Captain Shrederator, Lock-Jaw and Bloodsport are among the heavy metal in the competition. 

The season had been scheduled to start in May. A total of 60 bots did battle, down from the usual 100 or so. Bouts went on without the usual studio audience in Long Beach, but “builder boxes” were constructed, according to executive producer Chris Cowan, so the half-dozen team members for each bot could watch together, and cheer. 

“There’s a large amount of stress and worry producing a normal year,” Cowan said. Shooting in 2020? Way worse. 

But it all came together. 

Chris Rose and Kenny Florian return to do commentary, Jenny Taft reports from the pits and Faruq Tauheed is ring announcer. A new expert joins as Bot Whisperer: Battlebots veteran Peter Abrahamson.

Battlebots is just what some viewers desire as this nightmarish year winds down. “It’s such fantastic family escapism,” Cowan said. “It’s a sport that’s incredibly violent, but no one gets hurt.”

Cowan noted the “primal need” for violent collisions on Battlebots, not to mention the sight of busted bot pieces flying around the venue. But Battlebots also offers “the intellectualism of chess,”
he added. 

The Great Christmas Light Fight

The Great Christmas Light Fight (Image credit: ABC)

The Great Christmas Light Fight begins on ABC Dec. 9. It is season eight, and the lights displays are bigger and brighter than ever. Carter Oosterhouse and Taniya Nayak are the celeb judges. 

Brady Connell, executive producer, said viewers have asked for years if Great Christmas Light Fight would showcase a Christmas parade. This season, it does, visiting a memorable parade in East Peoria, Illinois, for the “Heavyweights” special. “It’s a small town, but they put on an amazing parade,” he said. 

Other memorable sights include a family in Utah who turned their garden into a light display, down to stalks of corn that light up. “Their garden is gorgeous,” Connell said. 

One can’t help but wonder about Connell’s
light display at home. He admitted he’s more of a Halloween decorations guy: “We definitely have the best Halloween display on the street.” A couple months later, when Christmas rolls around, “we do a little,” Connell said. 

Before coming on board at The Great Christmas Light Fight, Oosterhouse was on Trading Spaces and Million Dollar Rooms. Nayak’s TV work includes Billion Dollar Block and Restaurant: Impossible. They bring “a complete and utter love of Christmas” to Light Fight, Connell said. “We selected them because we know they enjoy every minute of the show, the way that we do.”