‘American Ninja Warrior’ or ANW, based on the globally hit Japanese obstacle-based competition series, ‘Sasuke’, is the American spin-off of this sports entertainment contest show. In this adrenaline-packed event, multiple candidates compete against each other to cross several obstacle courses — each more challenging than the last. Finally, the qualifying contestants get the chance to participate in the national finals held on the Las Vegas Strip. The winner is declared as that particular season’s ‘American Ninja Warrior’.
If you wish to know more about the genesis of this reality TV program, here’s the gist. The American cable channel G4 started running subtitled or dubbed broadcasts of ‘Sasuke’ in 2006. The platform named it ‘Ninja Warrior’. Subsequently, the channel launched the American Ninja Challenge for the first time in US history. This gave an opportunity for Americans to travel to Japan and participate in ‘Sasuke’. Gradually, these broadcasts became a hit and started garnering a cult following in the country. As a result, the creators decided to make their own American adaptation, which was named ‘American Ninja Warrior’ and premiered in 2009.
After qualifying in this show, finalists could partake in ‘Sasuke’. However, since the fourth season, the final winners were given the option to compete on the Las Vegas Strip, instead of traveling abroad. From the fifth installment onwards, NBC took over the airing rights and became the sole broadcaster of the series since 2013, after broadcasting the city finals and national finals episodes of the fourth season in 2012.
Directed by Jay Hunter from 2010 to 2013, who was replaced by Patrick McManus in 2014, ANW is produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions. Executive produced by Arthur Smith and Kent Weed, alongside Brian Richardson, Anthony Storm, and Kristen Stabile, the show returns for its 11th season on NBC on May 29, 2019.
American Ninja Warrior Cast: Who is in it?
Over the course of its seasons, ANW has featured a host and a co-host who offer play-by-play on each competitor’s run on the course. They are accompanied by a sideline reporter who gives an introduction about the obstacles and interviews participants.
Season 11 features Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila as the presenters. While Iseman is a comedian, actor, and television host, Gbaja-Biamila is a retired NFL football player, sports analyst, and author. Zuri Hall is credited as the sideline reporter. She is an entertainment reporter, TV personality, and actress, best known for hosting after-parties and reunions in MTV’s hit reality show, namely, ‘The Challenge’.