“The American Gladiators Documentary,” a two-part movie directed by Ben Berman, will make its television premiere on ESPN in the upcoming installment of the Peabody and Emmy award-winning 30 for 30 series.
The epic story of the renowned reality competition show is told in the movie in an unusual way. However, Johnny Ferraro, the producer who guided American Gladiators to success, is the centerpiece of the documentary.
Who is Johnny Ferraro?
Johnny Ferraro is an American entertainer. He is the original creator of the American Gladiators, who also financed and produced the original competition at Erie Tech High School in Erie, Pennsylvania.
For the unaware, American Gladiators was a competition show that predated reality TV but employed many of the same strategies to draw viewers. It was one of the most-watched syndicated television programs from 1989 until 1996.
Every week, “amateur” participants would compete in a variety of physical contests against a group of “professional” gladiators, setting up David vs Goliath battles that were well-liked by large television audiences but also received a lot of criticism for being “crash TV.”
Ferraro, the driving force behind the American Gladiators brand is a determined businessman with a lengthy and impressive list of professional achievements. Johnny’s accomplishments also include the creation of “G2000,” a children’s television program with an American Gladiators theme.
Johnny was also in charge of organizing and touring the American Gladiators “Monster Truck” national arena tour, as well as serving as Executive Producer of the band’s music CD.
The documentary includes first-person interviews with Johnny Ferraro, Deron McBee, Michael Horton, Lynn ‘Red’ Williams, the late William Billy Smith, and Salina Bartunek. It will air on ESPN on May 30 and 31 and will then be made accessible on ESPN+ after the broadcast. Produced by Ben Berman, Kirk Johnson, Russell Wayne Groves, Danny Gabai, and Andrew Freston, it is executive produced by ESPN Films and VICE Studios.