“Amer­i­can Ninja War­rior” re­turn­ing to Den­ver on NBC

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By John Wen­zel John Wen­zel: 303-954-1642, jwen­zel@den­ver­post.com or @john­wen­zel

As part of its ninth sea­son, “Amer­i­can Ninja War­rior” will re­turn to the Mile High City to shoot more episodes of its pop­u­lar com­pet­i­tive-en­durance spec­ta­cle.

Hosted by Den­ver-raised TV per­son­al­ity Matt Ise­man, ex-NFL player Ak­bar Gbaja-Bi­amila and co-host Kris­tine Leahy, “Ninja War­rior” pits or­di­nary (if ag­gres­sively self-trained) peo­ple against each oth­ers’ best time on an in­creas­ingly chal­leng­ing ob­sta­cle course, all for a shot at $1 mil­lion.

The show will be­gin its sixth sea­son on NBC, which airs the orig­i­nal episodes first. Amer­i­can Ninja War­riors started on the Esquire Network (for­merly Style Network), which now airs en­core pre­sen­ta­tions. It has in­spired home­spun ver­sions, in­clud­ing a vi­ral video of a 5-yearold girl from North­glenn nav­i­gat­ing an ob­sta­cle course built by her fa­ther.

For its 2017 sea­son, the se­ries has planned stops in Los Angeles (March 7-8); San An­to­nio (March 26-27); Day­tona Beach, Fla. (April 7-8); Kansas City, Mo. (April 24-25); Cleve­land (May 8-9); and Den­ver (May 23-24), with the fi­nals tak­ing place in Las Ve­gas (June 19-24).

The Den­ver episodes will once again be recorded at Civic Cen­ter park, where the show was last shot in May 2013.

No­tably, the first true “win­ner” of the se­ries was Isaac Caldiero, who was cred­ited as be­ing from Fort Collins, in 2015. Colorado has also typ­i­cally been well-rep­re­sented on the show thanks to our strong fit­ness, climb­ing and win­ter sports com­mu­ni­ties.

Based on the in­ter­na­tional hit “Sa­suke,” from the Tokyo Broad­cast­ing Sys­tem Tele­vi­sion, the orig­i­nal se­ries is now in its 31st sea­son in Ja­pan, ac­cord­ing to NBC Uni­ver­sal.

AAron On­tiveroz, Den­ver Post file

Course tester Chris­tian Greene runs over an ob­sta­cle be­fore the 2013 “Amer­i­can Ninja War­rior Den­ver.”

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