‘American Ninja Warrior’ Premieres on NBC May 29

Season eight of American Ninja Warrior begins on NBC May 29, running 8 to 10 p.m. It shifts to its regular time slot Monday, June 10, where it will still air 8 to 10.

Zuri Hall joins American Ninja Warrior as sideline reporter. She is a correspondent on E!.

Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila host the show, which began filming March 6. The series is executive produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions’ founders Arthur Smith and Kent Weed. Brian Richardson, Anthony Storm and Kristen Stabile are also executive producers.

Ninja Warrior shot in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Baltimore, Seattle/Tacoma, Cincinnati and Las Vegas for season eight.

The new season features several new obstacles, including the Power Tower. Power Tower winners get a Speed Pass invitation to the National Finals.

Some 70,000-80,000 people tried out for the new season, according to Arthur Smith. He promises fresh challenges for contestants, and viewers, this season. “We have to stay one step ahead of the Ninjas,” he told B&C. “Because they’re getting so good.”

Last summer, American Ninja Warrior averaged a 1.3 rating in viewers 18-49 and 5.9 million total viewers in live plus seven day Nielsens.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.