Discovery Ramps Up 'BattleBots' With 50 Hours of Programming (Exclusive)

The cable network says the robot-fighting series is coming back with an "unprecedented" amount of time on its schedule.
Courtesy Discovery

BattleBots is coming back in a big way.

Discovery Channel has greenlighted what it's calling "an unprecedented 50 hours of programming" revolving around the robot-fighting series. Competitors from around the world will face off to prove who is the "ultimate robot-building genius" in the single-elimination World Champion Tournament.

Discovery says BattleBots will "host the largest international field in its 20-year history, as over 80 robots from a dozen countries will attempt to win the sport's most prestigious prize, The Giant Nut." The teams come from a variety of backgrounds, including families, university students and more. Last year's World Champion robot "Bite Force" will return to defend its title, competing against innovative newcomers as well as fan favorites like Tombstone, Witch Doctor, Death Roll, Lock-Jaw and SawBlaze.

Each episode will highlight the design and build of the competing robots as well as the team behind them. Every robot is homemade and constructed from a variety of materials with custom-built weaponry like metal-scorching flamethrowers, hydraulic flippers and spinning blades with speeds reaching more than 200 mph. The builders also will showcase never-seen-before technology, such as robots that can walk on legs and new designs to withstand even bigger blows.

Each match consists of two remote-controlled robots competing in a single, three-minute round as they try to destroy or disable their opponent. If there is no knockout during the battle, a panel of judges will declare a victor.

"BattleBots is the perfect combination of engineering wit, cutting-edge design and adrenaline pumping entertainment," said Scott Lewers, executive vp multiplatform programming Discovery Factual and head of content at Science. "It's the perfect show for the entire family to watch together. We’re incredibly excited to work with the teams at BattleBots and Whalerock to bring it back bigger than ever before. Fans will be blown away by what they see."

Added Chris Cowan, executive producer at Whalerock Industries: "For our fans there are two times of year: Robot Fighting Season, and waiting for Robot Fighting Season. We couldn't be prouder that our partner Discovery has dramatically increased our programming block to satisfy our legions of dedicated fans. The quest to crown this year's most dominant combat robot is on!”

Said Trey Roski, co-creator and executive producer for BattleBots Inc.: "This massive order of 50 new hours is an incredible achievement for a 20-year-old brand; we're thrilled, and so are our millions of fans worldwide. Let the bot battles begin!"

Sportscaster Chris Rose and UFC fighter Kenny Florian will be back to provide play-by-play commentary, while Faruq Tauheed will return as the ring announcer. Production is set to begin April 3, in Long Beach, California, with tickets on sale to the public online. The new season is set to premiere at 8 p.m. Friday, May 15, on Discovery Channel. Previous seasons are available on DiscoveryGO.

BattleBots, created by Ed Roski and Greg Munson, is produced by BattleBots Inc. and Whalerock Industries. Executive producers are Lloyd Braun, Chris Cowan, Edward P. Roski (Trey), Greg Munson, Tom Gutteridge and Aaron Catling. Wyatt Channell will executive produce for Discovery Channel.