G4’s cult favorite American Ninja Warrior is getting a huge platform boost thanks to NBC.
The broadcast network will air a two-part season finale of the extreme obstacle course competition this fall after the show returns for its third season on G4 in August. The move represents the first major on-air commitment by NBC to spotlight a program on Comcast’s cable channel group since the companies merged earlier this year, and it’s quite cool that it’s Warrior that’s getting the exposure — the series long has been in the shadow of ABC’s comic version of the same concept, Wipeout.
“Wipeout has its success, but American Ninja Warrior is a true competition to find a real athlete to conquer a course that has only been conquered by three people over 2,600 tries — that’s what makes this drama interesting,” G4 president Neal Tiles told EW.
In the third season, the show will head to Japan and touts the biggest prize yet for the show, a $500,000 K-SWISS endorsement deal and marketing campaign. Also, G4 and the Tokyo Broadcasting System will auction off a chance for a fan to compete with the 10 finalists to benefit American Red Cross relief efforts in Japan. Production starts next month.
“Warrior has really come a long way and nurtured its cult-like status, and this American Idol-like prize structure takes an amateur athlete and elevates them to professional status,” Tiles said.
For those who have never seen the show, here’s a clip that gives you an idea just how hard this course is — and this is just the first round: