Australian Ninja Warrior will return for a third season from its new home in Melbourne on Monday, July 8, at 7.30pm on Nine.
For the first time on Australian Ninja Warrior, there will be a winner with the competitor who goes furthest on the course in the fastest time taking home $100,000. Make it up Mt Midoriyama and the winner will pocket $200,000 and the title of Australia’s first Ninja Warrior.
Nine and Endemol Shine Australia moved production to Melbourne this year, partly because they found a great site with city backdrops, and because Melbourne people tune in big time for shows filmed on their home soil. It works for The Block.
Ben Fordham co-hosts Australian Ninja Warrior with Rebecca Maddern. They are joined by Freddie Flintoff who has been getting good reviews for his new UK TV job – co-hosting BBC’s Top Gear.
Can Nine find the ratings magic that electrified audiences the first time around? Ninja Warrior co-host Ben Fordham thinks so.
“We’d like to see the ratings back to where we were in the first year. They were such record-breaking numbers that I might be a bit ambitious. But you’ve always got to shoot for the stars. We want as many families as possible sitting down around Australia watching it together.”
“The big change this year is the fact there will be a winner who will receive a rather large cheque from [Nine CEO] Hugh Marks.” Make it up Mt Midoriyama and the winner will pocket $200,000 and the title of Australia’s first Ninja Warrior.
“The other major change is the jeopardy element with the warped wall, which is an iconic Ninja element. This year there are two warped walls.”
New twists and challenges exist such as the Mega Warped Wall which stands at 5.25 metres and is one metre taller than the Warped Wall that was seen previously, and any Ninja who conquers it pockets $5,000 cash instantly.
The two hosts need to improvise as the viewers see contestant after contestant attempting the same challenges. With no writer for the hosts, Fordham and his colleague Maddern do their own research. “We get to know who the Ninjas are and we study their backstories. We look for anything interesting about them. What we have done this year more than ever before is get to know every square inch of the course. It gives us more authority about when and why people become unstuck.”