MTV is an American television channel owned by Viacom Media Networks and headquartered in New York City. The channel was launched on August 1, 1981, and originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as "video jockeys".
- "ROBOT WARS in association with MTV Networks are proud to announce… AMERICAN ROBOT WARS 2000… a spectacular, chrome plated civil war to crown the US Robot Wars Heavyweight Champion of 2000 on MTV. Calling all American Robot Warriors. If you’ve got a battle ready robot and you’re itching for a fight, you can’t afford to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity. THE TITLE: US Robot Wars Heavyweight Champion THE REWARD: Generous appearance fees for all competitors TRAVEL AND ACCOMMADATION: All freight and flight arrangements will be made for you. All travel and hotel costs will be paid for you. It couldn’t be easier. WHEN: 22-23 July 2000 WHERE: Robot Wars, Park Street Studios, LONDON, United Kingdom So if you’d like a free vacation, international fame courtesy of MTV and the chance to walk away with the American title – AND COLD HARD CASH - volunteer for active duty and contact Robot Wars immediately. If you want to become MTV’s Robot Wars Heavyweight Champion,act quickly because time is running out for you."
- — MTV press release
Mentorn had elected for MTV to air a US series of Robot Wars as a way of promoting the brand, especially was growing in popularity. MTV networks agreed to create a series and set out to promote the idea in a press release with intent to film a pilot during 22nd and 23rd of July.
Eight robots were originally planned to compete, but after one team pulled out, the producers reduced the number of participating robots to four, with teams having to pass through auditions to gain places in the competition. Although it was originally promised that all teams would receive a $5,000 appearance fee for attending, the change in format resulted in only the four competing teams receiving the $5,000.
The seven machines, frenZy, Ghetto-bot, Mauler, Mjollnir, Rammstein, Spike, and The Mangulator, all auditioned, with the robots selected being based upon how they and their drivers would appeal to the MTV audience. Mauler was notably selected because of Morgan Tilford's giant foam cowboy hat and "manic energy". The three other robots selected were frenZy, Spike and The Mangulator. The three remaining teams would simply watch the pilot without competing, receiving no appearance fee in the process, to the dismay of Todd Mendenhall.
However, the pilot never aired, and led to no further production of a series on MTV. While MTV elected not to air the pilot or commission its own series of Robot Wars, the show would later be picked up by TNN; Viacom executives Albie Hecht and Kevin Kay reportedly watched the pilot themselves and considered the show's premise ideal for the latter channel. TNN would go on to produce two seasons of Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors for US audiences, in partnership with Mentorn. As of 2019, footage of the MTV pilot has yet to be found.