'Team Ninja Warrior' Moves From Esquire to USA Network

The shift comes after Esquire shuttered its linear network.
Courtesy of Esquire Network

American Ninja Warrior spinoff Team Ninja Warrior is on the move.

Following a freshman season on Esquire, the competition's second run is moving to fellow NBCUniversal-owned cabler USA Network. The move comes as little surprise following the January decision to shutter Esquire's linear destination in favor of a digital hub.  

The 11-episode season two of Team Ninja Warrior will launch at 10 p.m. April 18 following WWE Smackdown on USA Network.

Team Ninja Warrior, which sees teams of three Ninjas competing against other trios, launched in 2016 and ranked as Esquire's most watched original series in its short history.

"With bold competitors and dominating sports arenas, Team Ninja Warrior is a perfect pairing to WWE Smackdown," said NBCU entertainment networks president Chris McCumber. "With this powerful franchise, we’re giving our passionate audience three full hours of jam-packed, high-stakes action every Tuesday night."

Team Ninja Warrior, produced by Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Brian Richardson, will continue to be hosted by ANW duo Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila.

Team Ninja Warrior becomes the latest series to move as cable networks, in the era of fragmented viewership, prepare for an a la carte world. RuPaul's Drag Race is moving first-run episodes from Viacom's Logo to VH1 in a bid to get more eyeballs on the Emmy-winning reality competition series. (Sources stress the move will have no impact on niche LGBT-themed network Logo.)

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