This year the Australian Ninja Warrior prizemoney has risen to $400,000 for the competitor who can make it through the new Power Tower and then conquer Mt Midoriyama to claim the title of the Australian Ninja Warrior.
The show comes from producer Endemol Shine Australia and features the show’s new home in the Melbourne Showgrounds facility, the format’s third home in three years.
For the first time in history, it will be Ninja versus Ninja as each night the two fastest Ninjas compete on the Power Tower, an obstacle four storeys high, with the victorious Ninja gaining an edge leading into the finals.
Hosts Rebecca Maddern, Ben Fordham and Freddie Flintoff, joined for the first time by Shane Crawford, will take viewers through every triumph and fall on the wild Ninja Warrior ride.
Nine’s head of content production and development Adrian Swift said: “There is nothing else like Australian Ninja Warrior on our TV screens. It’s fast-paced, electrifying, action-packed family fun. The inclusion of the Power Tower brings a fresh new element that will have viewers loving the Ninja versus Ninja action.
“After the success of the show last year it was a no-brainer to have the series return to Melbourne, and heading into our fourth season the Ninjas hungry to tackle our brand new course.”
Last year golfer Charlie Robbins was crowned the first winner of Australian Ninja Warrior after failing on the Floating Doors in the fastest time of stage three of Mt Midoriyama. With crowd favourite Ashlin Herbet falling short on the Salmon Ladder in stage 2.
Mediaweek spoke to Co-host Ben Fordham who has been busy the past few months, hosting drive radio for 2GB, recording the new season of Ninja Warrior Australia and then moving into his new radio timeslot at 2GB.
Fordham told Mediaweek his new breakfast radio commitment doesn’t impact on his TV work at Nine. “I have always managed to have a balance between radio and TV and that will continue. I am still contracted to Channel Nine for some time. As to what I do for them, that is up to Hugh Marks and Darren Wick at Nine.”
In the past Ninja Warrior has been filmed at the end of the year before it screened. However this year the series was in a new location at the and was scheduled for the first few months of 2020. “We filmed right in the middle of the Coronavirus lockdown,” said Fordham.
“As the country was starting its lockdown, we were hitting record. I was in Melbourne preparing for filming to start, with a plan to commute back and forward to Sydney during the filming. My wife Jodie said to me she didn’t want me flying back and forth. I felt I needed to come home to see the family and not be stuck in Melbourne for a couple of weeks. She though it just too risky to fly unnecessarily. Shortly after domestic travel was banned and I was stuck in Melbourne for a few weeks.
“Because there has been a lack of live sport this year I think there will be a real appetite for it when Ninja Warrior hits the screens.”