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Monday, January 23, 2012

American Ninja Warrior 4 Announced

I didn't realize I haven't posted this year.. LOL Either way G4 announced the latest incarnation of American Ninja Warrior. For those counting this is ANW4 (or for those of us watching since the beginning ANC 8 :p). This year is completely different from all previous years. By far this is the biggest undertaking and for those who watch it in relation to Sasuke.. this is the most.. uhm.. interesting. Okay for starters it seems that G4 is finally listening to their fanbase and changed the format of the show. After placing 8th place in the overall television ratings last August on NBC, it's obvious someone got the gist that this is not working the way it was intended and totally changed the format. Boot Camp is GONE! YES!!! I hated boot camp with a complete and utter passion and I know a LOT of people who boycotted both Boot camp and the Finals on NBC in protest of how they tried to repackage Sasuke 27 into their own little playground. This year they can legitimately say it IS their own personal playground.

Here is the application for ANW4.

G4's American Ninja Warrior is returning! Think you have what it takes to beat the course? For the first time ever, G4 will hold 6 regional tryouts in 3 host cities. For a chance to compete on American Ninja Warrior you must fill out the form below and submit your video before the deadline!

Regional Tryout Locations:
LOS ANGELES, CA (Northwest and Southwest Region)
DALLAS, TX (Midwest and South-Central Region)
MIAMI, FL (Northeast and Southeast Region)

For the first time ever, this year's entire competition will take place on U.S. soil. Through G4's partnership with Japanese broadcaster, TBS, the ultimate obstacle course will come to Las Vegas, NV where the top 100 regional finalists will attempt to conquer all four stages and earn the coveted title of American Ninja Warrior and a $500,000 cash prize.

Please note, it is the Producers' sole discretion to determine which host city and region you are allowed to attend. (Please submit your video and form ASAP as submission deadlines are fast approaching.)

Submission Periods:
LOS ANGELES, CA (Northwest and Southwest Region is now Feb. 14th)
DALLAS, TX (Midwest and South-Central Region is now Feb. 27th)
MIAMI, FL (Northeast and Southeast Region is now March 8th)

  • REGIONALS: Finally they got it right!! People have been yelling for a looooooong time that for a country as large as the USA it should have a regional competition to help alleviate having always to fly to L.A. just for try outs. It also allows for a more varied group of people to participate and ultimately raise the amount of people being allowed to qualify for the following round. Still unsure how they are going to do 2 separate regional events at each of the 3 locations but hopefully this won't be a problem. Also no idea if they even have walk-ons this year.
  • NO BOOT CAMP: Sorry.. I can't stress this enough how happy that makes me.. I know there are fans of it.. but they are a part of the small 0.1% that tuned in on G4.. sorry but that's not enough people to justify it. They already have something like that.. it's called Survivor. NBC should stick to an obstacle course.
  • FINALS OF ANW - for ONCE I can say that they are not commandeering someone else's tournament. The last 3 times they kept saying it was the finals of ANW when it was actually the Sasuke tournament sans the Japanese even though they were all a part of the same tournament. Seems that there will be a legit final in the USA comprised of 100 finalists of each of the 6 regions. It will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • PRIZE MONEY FOR ANW - I have zero issues with the money. Why? Because all 100 competitors in the ANW final have equal access to it. If they pass all 4 stages plus their prelims they get $500k in cash. Unlike the past where the winner of Sasuke was denied the ANW prize money for winning the EXACT SAME TOURNAMENT just because he was Japanese and not American. I can't argue with this current incarnation of the prize money since everyone has equal access to it. I approve of this :) No word if ANW 4 will have a different sponsor though. All 3 of the previous ANW's had different sponsors.
  • TBS INVOLVEMENT: Unlike in the past where they just sent a camera crew seems they will be a lot more involved in how they do this Final. First of all it's 4 stages just like Sasuke. Second, TBS has done an obstacle course for another country - Sasuke Malaysia and upcoming Sasuke Malaysia 2 (May, 2012) is built by TBS. It's not confirmed but it seems TBS is more involved with the building of at the very least the final. in Vegas At least that is what I'm gathering on how they worded the announcement.
No word on whether this is going to be shown in full as a series on NBC or if the prelims only will be on G4 and finals only on NBC. No word also as to WHEN everything will be taped and broadcast on American television. Only time will tell. Also no word if any of these stages are open to the public to watch as spectators as previous ANW prelims have been. I definitely would be interested in seeing the final live but that would a) most likely be a closed set and b) I'm not famous to be invited to go watch for blog purposes. I just don't have the money to travel. /sigh.. a 4 stage course built by TBS.. yeah.. I'd like to see that :)

EDIT: Brian mentioned in the comments section about airdate timeframe:

The following article mentions that the airing will take place this summer, and that "Weekly episodes will air on NBC and G4".

Now.. one thing you might have noticed.. no word on Sasuke 28. THAT is it's own question. Now.. if you remember what I wrote the last time about the subject, I'm cautiously optimistic that there will be a Sasuke 28 in the future.. just not near future for now. Nothing is stopping G4 from sending top competitors from ANW4 to Japan in the future, but for right now this is what they can come up with while we all wait to hear the fate of our beloved show.

Edit: More details in next blog


ad uk said...

This Is good news for the sasuke brand . And you should get a invite for all the hard work you put in promoting ninja warrior around the world

Unknown said...

Entirely on U.S. soil. Damn, as soon as I read that I thought, "Awww, not going to Midoriyama, eh?"

Kamran said...

I just hope they don't turn it into a comedy show. Isn't that what happens to all American obstacle course shows? Or am I just being stereotypical?

Arsenette said...

Hey UK :) LOL I'm not famous so they'd be wasting money :p But thanks anyway ;)

Hello Henry! I was thinking the same thing then realized it might be too soon (again.. if the rumors hold up). If by summer I don't hear anything then I'll start to panic :p

Kamran I'm not sure wtf they are going to do.. I would suspect the comedy stuff will be in the prelims just like last time.. or maybe I'm just being a cynic? LOL

Brian said...

The following article mentions that the airing will take place this summer, and that "Weekly episodes will air on NBC and G4".

Arsenette said...

Thank you very much Brian! I'll post that in the article and spread the word. Much appreciated.

Vernon said...

wow ANW 4 is going to be epic i can't wait. i wonder if they're gonna be 2 tournaments a year like sasuke. speaking of which im still having my fingers crossed for sasuke 28.

Arsenette said...

Dunno. I don't think NBC is interested in that as they have been doing ANW yearly and not biannually. As for Sasuke I'm hoping not only that it comes back.. but that it comes back biannually :)

Boiling Pot said...

Finally, America gets its own, proper, standalone version of Sasuke (even if the name's been Americanized)!


Unknown said...

Arsenette, I'm in word diarrhea mode, so you don't have to print this. I've stored a few years of thoughts into the entry below, and just wanted to let them out.

1. Exactly who owns what in this? With Monster 9's bankruptcy, does this mean TBS is the driving force technically for anything Sasuke related? Did TBS "hire" the relevant Monster 9 staff for "course building"? Is this one of TBS's future directions: seeking to build mini Sasuke-type competitions in the other countries where the program is showing on TV?

My fear is that instead of the "playoff format" (i.e., winners from other countries fly to Japan to compete in the foundational competition), that Sasuke in Japan may die off and this effort in other counties is the salvage effort, so to speak.

The rationale is to pour effort in other countries that could still grow in interest or ratings, while the concern is whether Sasuke can get the sponsors/funding to survive in Japan (I forgot how the ratings trend for the show is in Japan). The flip side of that question is what is/are the biggest obstacles now in pulling together Sasuke 28? Money? Sponsors?

2. If the Japan Sasuke doesn't come back, would there ever be thought of a role reversal if it does grow in the U.S.? The U.S. could be the "main competition", and the funneling of foreigners would come from other countries, at least salvaging the possibility of the Japanese "All-Stars", "New Stars", etc. of coming to the U.S. by special invitation?

I just don't know if the American execs would be willing to open the ANC competition up eventually to "outsiders", unless ANW somehow grows so well, that they could run a 2nd "World competition" separate from ANW.

3. I want the best of both worlds. A much better American competition, and twice yearly Japanese Sasukes. The whole intrigue of watching a foreign show in a language I can't understand and in a country I might never visit was a big reason for the attraction for me. Seeing how the game show developed and spread into the communities (via reading blogs like this) was fascinating.

The fact that the show didn't guarantee a winner and still drew the athletes back again and again as the course grew harder was another element.

The fact that the top competitors were mostly wonderfully easy to root for, and even "Mr. Ninja Warrior" as a fascinating tragic figure, trying repeatedly like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. Seeing a gas station worker "grow up" before our very eyes, goofiness intact ("Why did he fail THERE?!?!").

That the winners included a humble fisherman that's one of the few people I'm taller than, the first winner tragically going blind, and a shoe salesman who at first glance looks and sounds NOTHING like a top athlete--yet has won twice.

It's rooting for people like Nagano, Yuuji, Shingo, Lee, and even Yamada (Lord, forgive me) in a culture not my own. That is what I hope doesn't end. An American show with David, Brian, etc. is good, but the original is what holds the heart. Sorry, I need sleep, this is too sappy.


Arsenette said...

Hey Boiling Pot :) I figured NBC asked since they wanted a summer show and Sasuke 28 wasn't available yet. :D

Hey Rod.. lol you sound like me sometimes...

1. Unsure who owns what exactly right now. TBS has always been involved and it's obvious now that they are leading right now. That's all I know right now. It's a complicated situation where all the information is not readily available. This is all brand new territory now!

I do know that they have been trying to spawn spinoffs for a few years.. first USA then Malaysia. I'm sure they want more but no takers yet.

2. I've always been of the opinion that USA is not interested in hosting anything but a USA event. It's been clear since day 1 honestly...

3. We agree with what we want. I want Sasuke to be it's own thing without being tainted by Comcast. So far it's been fine so long as G4's now airing it.. luckily we still have access to the TBS broadcast..