Nellie Andreeva

G4 may have transformed itself into Esquire Network, but some things are staying the same — like the cable network’s obstacle course competition series American Ninja Warrior airing in a shared window with sibling NBC. The show will air weekly on Esquire  and then NBC on consecutive days, with original episodes on each network. Former NFL player and sports analyst Akbar Gbaja Biamila (NFL Network) will join the show as host alongside Matt Iseman, who is returning to the show for its fifth season on Esquire and its second full season on NBC. Jenn Brown (ESPN) will serve as a co-host, providing commentary and competitor interviews. Following a 2011 experiment, when NBC aired ANW‘s two-hour third-season finale to decent ratings, the two networks began sharing the series last summer. American Ninja Warrior began production on its new season on Friday in Los Angeles, features a four-stage course modeled after the Mt. Midoriyama from the original Tokyo Broadcast System series Sasuke and a few format tweaks. Arthur Smith executive produces.

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