Esquire has given a series order to American Ninja Warrior spin-off Team Ninja Warrior, EW has learned exclusively.
Hosted by Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila, Team Ninja Warrior features some of the greatest ninja competitors from past seasons going head-to-head on a timed dual course that tests competitors’ endurance and speed.
Here’s the deal: The top Ninjas from around the country will form 24 teams of three for a race against the clock and each other. Over the eight episodes, competitors will run three timed rounds of obstacle course runs. The teams with the fastest cumulative times in each episode will advance to the finale, where one team will be crowned Team Ninja Warrior.
Among the warriors competing for a big cash prize and bragging rights: Brent Steffensen, “The Mighty” Kacy Catanzaro, Flip Rodriguez, Brian Arnold, Joe Moravsky, Jessie Graff, Kevin Bull, Lance Pekus and Geoff Britten, who recently became the first competitor to defeat the American Ninja Warrior course.
The series hails from American Ninja Warrior producers and A. Smith & Co. Productions’ founders Arthur Smith and Kent Weed (Hell’s Kitchen, Unsung, Ellen’s Design Challenge), who will executive-produce alongside Brian Richardson.
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“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 of original programming at Esquire. “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.”
Team Ninja Warrior, which will be filmed in Long Beach, CA from Oct. 21-23, is slated to debut in early 2016 on Esquire.