NBC Takes ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Vertical With Snapchat Series (Exclusive)

The winners will have a chance to compete in the broadcast television series


“American Ninja Warrior,” the obstacle course competition series from NBC, is getting its own short-form Snapchat series, a representative for NBCU told TheWrap. The show debuts Wednesday, in line with the new season premiere of “American Ninja Warrior” on NBC.

The seven-episode series will give a group of ninja hopefuls the chance to compete for a spot on the broadcast version of the series. Hosted by five-time “American Ninja Warrior” competitor Grant McCartney, the show will feature 12 contestants competing over a six-week period.

In each of the first six episodes, contestants will individually run a custom indoor ninja course, with the fastest competitor moving to the final round. In the final round, the winners from each episode will run the actual Los Angeles course from the “American Ninja Warrior” television show. The male and female ninjas with the best time will be crowned the winners of Snapchat series and will have the opportunity to compete on the television show.

The last episode will document the winners’ journeys as they prepare to compete on the television show. However, viewers will have to tune in to NBC’s linear network if they want to watch the Snapchatters compete on the television series.

“It’s important that we create lots of touch points within the marketplace to get people excited about the show,” NBC’s SVP of digital Steven Hein told TheWrap. “Even though we might not be saying, ‘Watch the show, watch the show, watch the show,’ it’s important to have the brand represented in all the different places where people are consuming content.”

NBCU is no stranger to Snapchat. In addition to being an investor in the social platform, the network has launched multiple shows on the service, including a short-form version of “The Voice,” “The Rundown” (an E! News weekly pop culture series) ,and spinoffs from “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Saturday Night Live.”

“Building on its successful slate of Snap Originals, we’re thrilled that NBC is expanding its portfolio on Snapchat and bringing its hit franchise ‘American Ninja Warrior’ to our community,” said Vanessa Guthrie, director of original programming. “Reimagined exclusively for Snapchat, we know the competition will be fierce and we can’t wait for Snapchatters to tune in.”