One of NBC’s biggest summer shows begins its eighth season this week and American Ninja Warrior has promised a few new changes and additions to the show including significant changes to the course, new rules for the mega-warped wall, brand new obstacles and a new host to the program.
Beginning on Wednesday, May 29, viewers will notice right away that TV host and actress new Zuri Hall is the new sideline reporter taking over the duties from Kristine Leahy who was last seen just a few nights ago during the show’s All Star Skills Special.
Hall is known for her work as a correspondent on E!’s What the Fashion, Snapchat Discover and What’s Good with Zuri Hall. For ANW, she will give an in-depth preview of the night’s course, and chat with competitor when they have completed their runs whether that means a high and dry victory or a late night plunge in the pool.
The season’s premiere is a bit of a tease since ANW will not air again until its regular scheduled day begins on Monday, June 17. The peacock network is also a bit coy giving much information on some of the new obstacles that await the competitors during the season premiere’s qualifying rounds in Los Angeles.
We know that the rules for the show’s mega-warped wall, which was introduced last season, will be changed but how is still a mystery. Last year, any Ninja contestant who made it to the top of the 18-foot wall received $10,000. If they didn’t, they had two more shots at making to the top of the regular 14.5-foot tall wall. Last year, 42 Ninjas attacked the new wall with six of them taking home an extra $10K reports American Ninja Warrior Nation.
Though contestant Drew Drechsel went the farthest than anyone last year, he didn’t complete all four stages and did not take home the grand prize of $1 million. Sometimes it happens like that. But this year if that happened, he would be able to brag that he won $100,000 for this trouble. The new rule set in place will award the “Last Ninja Standing” the smaller prize money which only seems right.
As always, American Ninja Warrior will be hosted by Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila. After Wednesday night’s show which was filmed at Universal Studios backlot, the ANW crew will present the other qualifying rounds including Atlanta (The Home Depot Backyard at Mercedes Benz Stadium), Oklahoma City (State Capitol Building), Baltimore (Rash Field) and Cincinnati (downtown), along with its inaugural trip to the Pacific Northwest and its first time shooting indoors at Washington’s iconic Tacoma Dome.
American Ninja Warrior airs Wednesday, May 29 at 8:00 p.m. on NBC