Coming off its most-watched season ever, American Ninja Warrior is averaging a 2.1 rating and 7.2 million viewers overall so far this summer, according to Nielsen. It also landed its first Emmy nomination this year for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program.
Matt Iseman hosts, along with former NFL player Akbar Gbajabiamila (NFL Network) and co-host Kristine Leahy (Fox Sports). This season saw several woman competitors including Los Angeles stuntwoman Jessie Graff, who became the first woman to complete Stage One in the Las Vegas final shows.
The show follows competitors as they tackle a series of challenging obstacle courses in both city qualifying and city finals rounds across the country. Those that successfully complete the finals course in their designated region move on to the national finals round in Las Vegas, where they face a stunning four-stage course modeled after the famed Mt. Midoriyama course in Japan. The winner will take home a grand prize of $1 million.
Based on the global hit Sasuke, from the Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, the original series is now in its 31st season in Japan. To date, only three contestants have completed the Japanese course. Original episodes air exclusively on NBC with encore presentations on Esquire Network, on which the series enters its ninth season.
Tonight’s season finale airs at 8 PM ET on NBC with an encore presentation on Esquire Network on Tuesday at 8 PM ET.
“The increased popularity of‘American Ninja Warrior on air, as well as its growing social and cultural impact, is a testament to the athletes who push themselves beyond their limits,” said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Reality Group, NBC Entertainment. “We couldn’t be more proud to see this show reach new heights and watch the affect it has on those who compete and strive to be their best.”
American Ninja Warrior is produced by A. Smith for NBC/Esquire Network. The series is executive-produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions’ founders Arthur Smith and Kent Weed (Hell’s Kitchen) along with Brian Richardson and Anthony Storm.
“We are in constant awe of the extraordinary athletes on American Ninja Warrior who make the show as exhilarating to watch as it is to produce,” said Adam Stotsky, President, E! and Esquire Network. “It is incredibly exciting how the series has evolved from an unconventional Japanese game show with a cult following to the global hit phenomenon that it is today in partnership with NBC – and we are looking forward to many more seasons to come.”