Fox to air “Beat the Champions” competition special

Based on a format from Japan's TV Asahi (pictured) and produced by A. Smith & Co., the special will pit amateurs against champion athletes in a series of absurd challenges.
June 16, 2015

A forthcoming special on Fox – based on a Japanese format – is to find amateur and champion athletes square off in a series of bizarre challenges.

Produced by A. Smith & Co. (American Ninja Warrior, Ellen’s Design Challenge), Beat the Championswill premiere on the U.S. broadcaster on June 30 at 9 p.m. EST/PST.

In the show, Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Missy Franklin, NFL player Rob Gronkowski and basketball player Scottie Pippen will be handed “absurd and hilarious” handicaps while they compete against amateurs who are given help in beating the champs. However, the more assistance an amateur requires, the less prize money – up to US$100,000 – will be awarded. The special will be hosted by Saturday Night Live alumnus Finesse Mitchell.

The Japanese version of Beat the Champions (pictured) has aired for more than a decade on TV Asahi. Distributor Eccho Rights has sold the format into Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, France and the Middle East.

Exec producers on the American version are Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, Frank Sinton and Jonathan Singer.

Watch a teaser for the Fox version below:

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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.