The warriors are returning. NBC has announced its annual competition special American Ninja Warrior will premiere on January 31st.
This will be the third annual American Ninja Warrior special to air on NBC.
In this three-hour event, competitors from the United States, Japan, and Europe will compete in a specially designed series of challenging obstacle courses. Previous winners of American Ninja Warrior will appear as well as contestants from Sasuke, the Japanese show that inspired American Ninja Warrior.
American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. The Word will be hosted by Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila.
Read the official announcement below:
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – Dec. 16, 2015 – NBC will present its third annual high-stakes international competition “American Ninja Warrior: USA Vs. the World” on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 8-11 p.m. ET/PT. Three separate teams from America, Europe and Japan will compete in Las Vegas on the first three stages of Mt. Midoriyama, the famed four-stage finals course featured in “American Ninja Warrior.”
Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila are set to host and Kristine Leahy will co-host.
This year Team USA features five new members hoping to bring home the winner’s trophy. Leading the team is “American Ninja Warrior” champ and $1 million winner Isaac Caldiero and impressive runner-up, Geoff Britten. They made history on the seventh season of “American Ninja Warrior” as the first two competitors to scale stage four in Las Vegas in June. Rounding out the team are worthy veterans and top ninja warrior competitors Kevin Bull, Drew Drechsel, Ian Dory and Joe Moravsky. After last year’s shocking loss to Team Europe, these ninjas are looking to reclaim the title that slipped away.
Team Japan is looking for redemption after last season’s disappointing showdown. Their team features a mix of new and returning competitors led by Ryo Matachi and Yusuke Morimoto, both of whom competed in last year’s special. Additional team members include Kenji Takahashi, Masashi Hioki and Tomohiro Kawaguchi. All of these worthy competitors are veterans of “Sasuke,” the Japanese version of “American Ninja Warrior.”
Team Europe features three returning competitors – France’s Sean McColl and Italy’s Stefano Ghisolfi, both of whom are world-class rock climbers, along with England’s Tim Shieff, a world champion free runner and the top performer in the United Kingdom version of “Ninja Warrior.” The two new team members include Tim Champion, a top gymnast from England, and Alexander Mars, the winner of the Swedish version of “Ninja Warrior.”
Contestants will tackle “American Ninja Warrior’s” punishing Las Vegas finals course in a head-to-head format that pits members from each team against one another.
Based on the global hit “Sasuke,” from Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, the original series is in production for its 31st season and four contestants have completed the course. The series is executive-produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions’ founders Arthur Smith and Kent Weed (“Hell’s Kitchen,” “Unsung,” “Ellen’s Design Challenge”), along with Brian Richardson and Anthony Storm. “American Ninja Warrior” is a co-production between Esquire Network and NBC.”
What do you think? Do you watch American Ninja Warrior? Will you watch the special event in January?