“BattleBots” just aired its thrilling, flame thrower-filled, metal shrapnel-rich finale on Sunday and pronounced Bite Force its champion, but that doesn’t mean the competition show is finished — not by a mile.
The show did pretty well for ABC. It averaged 4.6 million viewers and saw increases in both viewers and the advertiser-coveted 18 to 49-year-old demographic over the past two weeks.
“We don’t know about Season 2 and I don’t want to jinx it,” “BattleBots” co-founder and executive producer Greg Munson told Business Insider of the chances for renewal. “But, if you look at the Magic 8-Ball, it would say, ‘All signs point to yes.'”
“BattleBots” producers are definitely looking forward and feeling confident that ABC will renew the series for a second season (seventh if you count the five seasons it ran on Comedy Central from 2000 to 2002). And they have definitely given some thought as to what they’d like to do similarly and what they’d like to change up.
Here’s four things the producers have planned for a likely second season of “BattleBots”:
1.) Continue to emphasise the competition as a sport.
“We invested in the tournament as a trackable sports event,” executive producer and head of unscripted for Whalerock Industries, Chris Cowan, told BI. “I don’t want to be too self-aggrandizing although we do believe that it is legitimately a sport. This is not to challenge all the traditional sports that are out there. we just believe it’s a fantastic outlet for people who can get into real competition with these things.”
Next season, the series would continue its emphasis on the “March Madness-like” bracket, how it’s set up, and the back story behind the teams and their robots.
“We want it so you can guess who’s going to win the matches,” Cowan explained. “It’s more digestible to a broader audience, because we’re framing it in a way they understand.
2.) Improve on the technical coverage.
While the producers wanted to focus on builders and backgrounds, they found that the technical side of the competition wasn’t getting as much time to shine.
“A little more tech,” Munson emphasised. “I think the sport side of it is great. We’ve seen the pit and how the builders are working on them between rounds. I just want to see a little more of that. That’s something we can tweak for Season 2.”
3.) Hold the competition as an open-invitation tournament.
Due to time constraints, Season 1 had to be an invitation-only tournament in order to guarantee that everybody who competed was a builder of a high enough calibre for the tournament. But with Season 2, that could open up.
“Our dream for this is that it be an open invitation tournament,” Cowan said. “I’m hoping that what this show is doing is lighting the fuse of the imagination who want to now tear their lawnmowers apart and start building.”
Producers hope to have more competitors, more episodes, more matches,
4.) Foster the evolution of bots through its rules.
In many ways, an open ournament helps here. But, the producers encourage competitors to find loopholes in the rules.
“With any established competition — it doesn’t matter if it’s a game show or a hundred-year-old sport — it’s almost tradition that the competitors will look for ways to evolve their interpretation of the rules,” he said. “You’re never going to be able to stop that. We actually encourage it as long as it’s done in good sportsmanship.”
“We have a small competition committee looking at the rules and trying to tweak them, so we encourage innovation in design,” Munson said.
5.) Encourage evolution through changes to the arena.”It’s an entertainment program and we want the most exciting fights we can possibly put on television with the most badass, interesting and creative-looking robots and best builders,” Munson explained. “So, we also have to look at the arena itself and find ways to tweak it to push these builders to evolve their machines.”
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