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‘Gladiators’ is a hit for Sky One

Debut episode takes 11.5% share

LONDON — The U.K. revival of entertainment powerhouse “Gladiators” looks poised to deliver a knockout blow for Sky One, the flagship web of paybox BSkyB.

The debut episode of the show, a staple of ITV’s Saturday night schedule in the 1990s, achieved a huge 11.5% share for Sky One Sunday evening, almost five times the web’s average for the 6 p.m. slot.

“Gladiators” won 1.5 million viewers, despite the unseasonably hot spring weather in Blighty.

Sky One, which is increasingly investing in U.K. produced fare, said it was “thrilled” with an audience on this scale for “Gladiators.”

The show is produced by leading U.K. shingle Shine, which owns U.S. producer Reveille, maker of “American Gladiators” for NBC.

It was the successful revival of “Gladiators” across the Atlantic that encouraged Sky to back a remake in the U.K.

In the past, Sky One, whose ratings have been hit by the onward march of U.K. digital terrestrial platform Freeview, has struggled to create home grown hits to match the success of acquisitions like “The Simpsons.”

But the success of “Gladiators” is further proof that Sky One can score with domestic shows following the success of fare like “Ross Kemp in Afghanistan” and big budget drama “Hogfather.”