American Robot Wars 2000 (lost MTV pilot of British robot combat game show; 2000)

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Robot wars title.jpg

Title card used for the British version of the show.

Status: Lost

Robot Wars is a British robot combat game show that was broadcast on BBC Two and Channel Five from 1998-2004, and from 2016 to 2017. Because of the success of the show during its early series, MTV was interested in airing an American version of the show. A pilot was created around the Summer of 2000, called American Robot Wars 2000.


On 6th July, 2000, an MTV press release announced American Robot Wars 2000. It invited all American roboteers to to compete for the US Robot Wars Heavyweight Champion of 2000. The event would take place from 22-23 July at Park Street Studios in London.[1] The event would serve as the pilot for an American spin-off of Robot Wars.[2] Because it was filmed prior to Series 4, it also gave the event the distinction of being the first competition to feature the Series 4 Arena.

In the pilot, eight robots were entered to compete in a knockout tournament. Seven of the robots included frenZy, The Mangulator, The Mauler, Spike, Ghetto-bot, Mjollnir, and Rammstein. According to Gearheads: The Turbulent Rise of Robotic Sports, all teams were originally promised a $5,000 fee for attending. However, after the unknown eighth robot withdrew, the producers decided to incorporate an auditions stage, where four machines would be selected to compete based on whether the robots and their drivers would appeal. Gearheads stated that The Mauler's Morgan Tilford displayed "manic energy" that impressed the producers, and so The Mauler qualified. frenZy, The Mangulator, and Spike would also be selected. Because Ghetto-bot, Mjollnir, and Rammstein did not compete, the producers decided to renege on giving their teams their appearance fees.[3]

There were three battles in total. The first was The Mauler vs Spike, which the former won. According to Gearheads, The Mauler successfully got up to speed with its rotating flails and chisels, and upon colliding with Spike, managed to rip its opponent's doll head off. frenZy ultimately "decimated" The Magulator, leading to a BattleBots rematch between it and The Mauler. Ultimately, The Mauler avenged its BattleBots loss, gaining the upper hand after frenZy's spike broke away from its hammer as it was attacking its opponent.

Ultimately, MTV decided not to air an American version of Robot Wars, and the pilot was not broadcast on television. However, Gearheads stated that Viacom executives Albie Hecht and Kevin Kay watched the pilot and felt it would complement the programming for TNN. Thus, an American spin-off of Robot Wars ultimately did air on the channel, entitled Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors.


Based on Gearheads' account, the pilot's last known location was at Viacom's offices. The recording may well still exist in MTV or Viacom's archives, but no footage has ever been publicly release. Currently, the only available media relating to the pilot are a collection of photos of the competing robots in the Pits.


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