10:02am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'American Ninja Warrior' Renewed at NBC
NBC is staying on course with American Ninja Warrior.
The reality competition series has been renewed for a fifth season on the network and eighth season overall, NBC announced Thursday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
The series, hosted by Matt Iseman, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila and new addition Kristine Leahy, has continued to reach new highs in its current season. This week's installment collected 2.1 million total viewers among adults 18-49 — its highest rating in more than three years — and 7.2 million total viewers, a series best. Overall, ANW is averaging a 2.2 rating and 7.1 million total viewers. The series, executive produced by A. Smith & Co.'s Kent Weed and Anthony Storm, ranks as the No. 1 show on Mondays across the Big Four among adults under 50 and total viewers. The series is up 10 percent year-over-year in the demo and 23 percent among total viewers.
In addition to new host Leahy, this season also saw the prize money double to $1 million as the search to find a competitor able to defeat the 80-foot Mount Midoriyama in the course's grueling finals continues. Through six seasons, ANW has not produced a winner.
The series made headlines last season when Kacy Catanzaro became the first woman to climb the show's famed 14-foot Warped Wall — twice — in clips that went viral. The fan favorite saw her effort to return to the Las Vegas finals shockingly end during the qualifying stages this season, though there's still a chance she could be invited back as a wild card.
The season finale airs Sept. 14 with a special three-hour event from 8-11 p.m.