NBC’s four-time Emmy Award-nominated series American Ninja Warrior will be returning this summer to NBC for its ninth season. Production will begin in the spring with a premiere date announced shortly.
Hosted by Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila along with sideline reporter Zuri Hall, the action-packed 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).
In both Washington, D.C. and St. Louis the show heads indoors, welcoming thousands of fans to witness the competition during the day and early evening hours.
The show’s national finals will once again take place in Las Vegas.
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. Drechsel has competed on nine seasons of the show to date and serves as the captain for Team USA on the show’s annual “USA Vs. the World” telecast, airing Sunday, Jan. 26 (9-11 p.m. ET/PT).
This season will bring some new changes to the course and the game play, including new rules and never-before-seen obstacles.
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.