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Season 5 of the US version of the TBS mega hit SASUKE in production! Preliminaries in 4 cities leading to a final in Las Vegas to go on the air again in prime time on multiple networks

April 17, 2013

Production has begun on season 5 of the US version of the TBS mega hit sports entertainment show SASUKE. As with last year, this year's program will air simultaneously on NBC and on nationwide cable on the Esquire Channel (formerly G4).

This year's shooting began once again on Venice Beach in Los Angeles, on April 5. Similar to previous competitions, six regional tryouts will be held in four locations, which started with the Southwest and Northwest tryouts in Los Angeles. Next, the Northeast tryouts in Baltimore, then the Southeast tryouts in Miami, and finally the North Midwest and South Midwest tryouts will be held in Denver.

Winners of these four preliminary competitions will go on to participate in a final competition on a full-scale course modeled on the original Midoriyama SASUKE set. Plans call for some obstacles to be redesigned.

For the new season, former NFL pro-turned NFL Network analyst Akbar Gbaja Biamilia and ESPN's two-time Emmy winning sports broadcaster Jenn Brown will join Matt Iseman as co-hosts of the series.

Last year, a total of 16 episodes of ANW4 aired for ten weeks on both G4 and NBC in primetime. The broadcast marked the first time in US television history that new episodes of a series alternated between two different networks' primetime schedules.

The series maintained high ratings throughout the season at #2 among all viewers and #1 in adults 18-49. The series finale ranked #1 among ABC's "The Glass House", CBS's "Hawaii Five-0" encore in the 10-11 pm slot one hour into the program, winning in every key demographic and beat the combined ABC-CBS rating in adults 18-49.

Following on this success, NBC broadcast newly edited episodes of ANW4 in February and March of 2013, the most challenging period for ratings in the American market. The decision to broadcast redesigned programming from a previous year's series in this period was considered a highly exceptional move.

SASUKE (including the US version), has been sold in 157 countries and territories. Sales extend not only to countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, but also to the Middle East and Latin America. Facebook's American Ninja Warrior fan page has more than 800,000 members and the popularity of the show continues to grow exponentially.

The SASUKE 2013 competition is scheduled to be held this summer in Japan, and then in November the SASUKE ASEAN OPEN CUP is to be held in Malaysia as part of the celebration of the 40th year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation. With plans for production of a European SASUKE moving forward, SASUKE fever continues to heat up worldwide.


About Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc. (TBS)
Established in 1951, Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc. (TBS) and 30 TBS Group companies constitute one of the largest media conglomerates in Japan, encompassing a wide range of media and business activities including broadcast (nationwide terrestrial TV/radio networks to digital satellite, mobile, and broadband), content production (TV/radio programs, formats, movies, video/DVDs, internet, computer graphics), domestic/overseas distribution, concerts and other events. With long-running