American Ninja Warrior is returning for a ninth season. NBC said it has renewed the four-time Emmy-nominated series for a return this summer. Production will begin in the spring with a premiere date TBD.
Hosted by Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila along with sideline reporter Zuri Hall, the obstacle course competition series will shoot in three cities this season – Los Angeles (Universal Studios backlot), Washington, D.C. (DC Armory) and St. Louis (The Dome at America’s Center). The show’s national finals will once again take place in Las Vegas.
American Ninja Warrior is a solid ratings draw for NBC, last summer averaging a 1.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.4 million viewers overall in Live+7 Nielsens. Digital and linear delayed viewing boosted those numbers to a 2.0 rating in 18-49 and 9.2 million viewers. The series scored as Monday’s most-watched program on the Big 4 networks with each of its last five telecasts last summer in Live+SD.
The high-octane series follows competitors as they attempt challenging obstacle courses in five rounds of competition throughout the country. Top competitors from each region move onto the national finals where they compete on a four-stage course that includes multiple obstacles on each stage. The winner, who must complete all four stages, will take home a grand prize of $1 million.
In addition, if no winner is crowned, the ninja to go the farthest on the national finals course wins $100,000.
Last season, veteran Drew Drechsel was crowned champion of American Ninja Warrior taking home the grand prize.
This season will bring some new changes to the course and the game play, including new rules and never-before-seen obstacles, according to NBC.
Based on the global hit Sasuke, from Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, the original series is now in its 37th season in Japan.
The series is executive produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions’ founders Arthur Smith and Kent Weed. Brian Richardson, Anthony Storm and Kristen Stabile also serve as executive producers.
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