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:

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.