TV

NBC preps “American Ninja Warrior” special

Top athletes from NBC's obstacle-course competition show American Ninja Warrior will face off against their counterparts from Sasuke, the long-running Japanese program that inspired the U.S. spin-off.
January 7, 2014

Top athletes from NBC’s obstacle-course competition show American Ninja Warrior will face off against their counterparts from Sasuke, the long-running Japanese program that inspired the U.S. spin-off.

Five Japanese contestants will travel to the U.S. to compete in the program’s inaugural international competition, which will air on NBC as two-hour special American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. Japan, on January 13 at 8 p.m. EST/PST.

American Ninja Warrior follows competitors as they navigate some of the world’s toughest obstacle courses. The program, now in its fifth season, is based on Sasuke, which has run in Japan for 17 years.

Five contestants from each country will take on four levels of the Las Vegas finals track, which replicates Japan’s grueling Mt. Midoriyama course, in a new format that has team members competing directly against one another.

U.S. competitors include Brian Arnold, Paul Kasemir, James McGrath, Travis Rosen and Brent Steffensen, while Team Japan consists of Kazuma Asa, Hitoshi Kanno, Ryo Matachi, Shingo Yamamoto and two-time Sasuke winner Yuji Urushihara.

Comedian Matt Iseman and former NFL player Akbar Gbajabiamila will host the competition along with sports broadcaster Jenn Brown.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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