Esquire Network orders “American Ninja Warrior” spin-off series

Jeff Pfeiffer

Spinning off of its sister network NBC’s hit competition series American Ninja Warrior, Esquire Network announced today that it has ordered the new series Team Ninja Warrior, with eight one-hour episodes expected to premiere in early 2016 and produced by the same team behind ANW.

Filming in Long Beach, Calif., from Oct. 21-23, and hosted by former NFL player and sports analyst Akbar Gbajabiamila, and comedian Matt Iseman, Team Ninja Warrior will feature some of the greatest ninja competitors from past seasons of American Ninja Warrior. For the first time, the obstacle course is now built for two, and competitors will race head-to-head in a newly designed, dual running course.

geoff-britten-american-ninja-warrior
Geoff Britten, the first person to defeat the “American Ninja Warrior” course, will be featured in the spin-off series “Team Ninja Warrior”

American Ninja Warrior has become a pop culture phenomenon and it’s exciting for us at Esquire Network to continue to take the franchise to new heights,” said Matt Hanna, EVP, Original Programming, Esquire Network. “We’ve assembled the top competitors who dominated past seasons, constructed a course with the most unforgiving obstacles, and are presenting a new dual run format that is certain to deliver the same addictive, awe-inspiring reactions as the original American Ninja Warrior.”

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“The top ninjas from around the country will form 24 squads of three for an epic team-to-team race against the clock, and each other. The competitor’s endurance and speed will be time-tested in three brutal rounds of obstacle course runs. From leaping off the “Sonic Rope,” to tackling the “Flying Shelf Grab,” scrambling down the “Double Jump Hang,” and racing up the redesigned “Dual Warped Wall,” the teams with the fastest cumulative times in each episode will advance to the finale where only one team will be crowned TEAM NINJA WARRIOR champions.

“The teams will feature top performers from previous seasons of American Ninja Warrior including: Geoff Britten [pictured], the first person to ever defeat the course; Brent Steffensen, a six year Ninja veteran, “The Mighty” Kacy Catanzaro, the first woman to reach the American Ninja Warrior finals, who became a social media phenomenon with her finals run being viewed over 9 million times, and other top contestants such as, Flip Rodriguez, Brian Arnold, Joe Moravsky, Jessie Graff, Kevin Bull and Lance Pekus. All competitors will be running, jumping, vaulting and rolling through an amped-up version of the world’s most intense obstacle course, vying for a big cash prize and even bigger bragging rights.”

Team Ninja Warrior is coming to Esquire Network in early 2016.

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Geoff Britten photo: Justin Merriman/NBC