“It’s aspirational,” reveals “American Ninja Warrior” executive producer Anthony Storm about why the show has been a success. “There’s a fitness craze that’s been developing in this country” with people trying to get in shape in “a way that breaks the monotony of going to the gym and lifting weights, and doing all those things that are tough to get motivated to do.” Seeing everyday people achieving extraordinary goals “is a fun way to challenge ourselves and get ourselves into the shape that we always dreamed we could be in.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Storm above.
Now in its 10th season, “American Ninja Warrior” features contestants from across the globe navigating a wide variety of obstacle courses. And this year the show picked up its third consecutive Emmy nomination for Best Reality Competition Series, with additional bids for its directing and editing.
When it comes to selecting competitors, Storm and his fellow producers aren’t just looking for people who can complete the course. They also want contestants with “a story that’s relatable and root-able, something that our viewers can connect to. Sometimes it’s overcoming a setback in their personal lives, and sometimes it’s just having the sort of life that makes it difficult to train everyday the way that you need to in order to conquer these obstacles.”
“American Ninja Warrior” premiered on the now defunct cable network G4 in 2009 before it started airing on NBC in 2012. Comedian Matt Iseman started hosting the show in 2010, and since 2013 he has been joined by former NFL star Akbar Gbajabiamila, who also recently competed in the show’s “Celebrity Ninja Warrior” special. In addition to its Emmy nominations, the show also contended at the PGA Awards for Best Reality Competition in 2017 and 2018.
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