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Tag: American Ninja Warrior (1-3 of 3)

'American Ninja Warrior' producer: How Kacy Catanzaro changed our show forever

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Could the first American to beat NBC’s Ninja Warrior course be a woman?

Ex-gymnast Kacy Catanzaro first shattered American Ninja Warrior’s plexiglass ceiling by becoming the first female competitor in six seasons to complete the show’s brutal preliminary obstacle course. Then she completed the show’s near-insane semi-finals course to secure a spot in the upcoming Las Vegas finals. The 24-year-old’s inspiring performance became an online sensation, racking up 8 million views on YouTube alone. (If you’re a woman, it makes you want to go the gym. If you’re a man, it makes you really want to go the gym).

Catanzaro is set to run the national finals course on NBC, which begins its Las Vegas coverage tonight (with repeats airing Tuesdays on Esquire Network). We spoke with the show’s executive producer Kent Weed about the history of female competitors on the show and the delicate issue of the contest’s built-in gender skew — the competition favors men, yet it’s the unrelenting physical challenge of the course that also make the contest uniquely inspiring and has led to Catanzaro becoming a break-out star.

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Kacy Catanzaro would happily hit the 'American Ninja Warrior' obstacle course with Stephen Amell (Updated)

Kacy Catanzaro made history on July 14 by completing the American Ninja Warrior obstacle course and becoming the first woman in the show’s six seasons to land a spot in the finals. Since the groundbreaking victory, the former NCAA gymnast told EW Live about the outpouring of support she’s received from fans and celebrities alike, including a happy-tear-inducing congratulation video from her gymnastics hero, 2008 Olympic All-Around gold medalist Nastia Liukin.

One A-lister from whom Catanzaro would like to hear: Arrow star Stephen Amell, a self-proclaimed Ninja Warrior superfan, who has hit the gym with Catanzaro’s boyfriend and trainer Brent Steffensen (himself a four-time ANW competitor). Watching a video of Amell’s Ninja-esque “Superhero Workout,” Catanzaro noted that “his form is just tip-top. Maybe he could teach me some things. I wouldn’t hate that.”

Catanzaro also talked about a potential career as a stuntwoman, what she was feeling when Steffensen scaled the Spider Climb to celebrate with her at the Dallas qualifier, and the chances of a quickie wedding after (or maybe even at?) the finals in Las Vegas. READ FULL STORY

NBC renews three summer shows including 'America's Got Talent,' 'Last Comic Standing'

NBC has announced a handful of renewals for three of its summer programs.

The network will give a tenth season to America’s Got Talent, a ninth season to Last Comic Standing, and a fourth season of American Ninja Warrior. NBC chief Robert Greenblatt announced the renewal news during the executive session at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills on Sunday.

The current ninth season of AGT—which features Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel on the judging panel—currently ranks as the summer’s number one reality series on the major non-cable networks, averaging a 3.1 rating and 12.4 million viewers overall. The stand-up comedian reality series Last Comic Standing is pulling in a 1.7 rating and 5.1 million viewers, and extreme stunt competition American Ninja Warrior (a partnership with Esquire Network) finished first in its time slot among the Big Four networks for its last six original episodes. READ FULL STORY

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