Based on the hit Japanese TV series Sasuke, the NBC and G4 competition series American Ninja Warrior puts regular people to the test on an elaborate obstacle course. The show has moved to the national finals in Las Vegas, where competitors attempt to conquer a four-stage obstacle course based on Sasuke's "Mount Midoriyama." The ultimate winner receives $500,000 and the "American Ninja Warrior" title. Executive producer Arthur Smith, whose credits include Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, explains why viewers should go stealth and watch American Ninja Warrior.
TV Guide Magazine: My DVR is jam-packed. Why should I add American Ninja Warrior to my queue?
Smith: Nowhere else on TV will you see every-day people attempting the most difficult obstacles in the world, undergoing the greatest tests of mental and physical skill.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch your show?
Smith: We send a Ninja to your house.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for your show.
Smith: American Ninja Warrior = The Olympics + boot camp - the boots.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said or written about your show?
Smith: One of the competitors said that training for American Ninja Warrior gave him purpose, helped him battle obesity and saved his life.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst thing that anyone has said?
Smith: It's not long enough.
TV Guide Magazine: Who was right?
Smith: They're both right.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the secret to surviving your show's obstacle course?
Smith: Great mental strength, tremendous physical ability... and a little prayer.
TV Guide Magazine: Imagine you had a ninja at your disposal for a day. What would you have him do first?
Smith: Track down Nielsen families, eavesdrop on network meetings and make me dinner.
TV Guide Magazine: How are you using your power of TV for good?
Smith: Making America more delicious (Kitchen Nightmares), less single (The Choice) and slightly more paranoid (Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura), one episode at a time.
TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?
Smith: Ow, My Groin!
TV Guide Magazine: What credit of yours would you prefer we forget?
Smith: When I was a 19-year-old actor I played the disco king in "Pinball Summer."
TV Guide Magazine: Fill in the blank: If you like ___________ , you'll love American Ninja Warrior.
Smith: Phenomenal athletes, incredible stories, God and puppies.
TV Guide Magazine: What's tougher: American Ninja Warrior's obstacle course, or getting screamed at by Gordon Ramsay?
Smith: Both are brutal for different reasons, but at least with Gordon Ramsay you get a fabulous crème brule at the end.