ADDITIONAL NOTES: renewed through the 2016-17 season (the show's ninth) on 9/12/16
DESCRIPTION: (from NBC's press release, September 2016) "American Ninja Warrior," which has become a cultural sensation, ratings powerhouse and first-time Emmy Award nominee, has been renewed for a sixth season on NBC and Esquire Network. "American Ninja Warrior" is hosted by Matt Iseman, along with former NFL player Akbar Gbajabiamila (NFL Network) and co-host Kristine Leahy (FOX Sports). Original episodes air exclusively on NBC with encore presentations on Esquire Network, on which the series enters its ninth season. "The increased popularity of 'American Ninja Warrior' on air, as well as its growing social and cultural impact, is a testament to the athletes who push themselves beyond their limits," said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Reality Group, NBC Entertainment. "We couldn't be more proud to see this show reach new heights and watch the affect it has on those who compete and strive to be their best." The season finale of the 2016 season airs on NBC tonight, Monday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m./ET, with an encore presentation on Esquire Network on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m./ET. The big story of this season was the amazing number of women competitors who joined the ranks. Most notably was Los Angeles stunt woman Jessie Graff, who became the first woman to complete Stage One in the Las Vegas finals shows. The series continues to grow in popularity as submissions reached an all-time high of 70,000 last spring. Reaching out to interact with its ever-increasing fan base, this past season the show traveled to five cities with new locations, including Universal Studios in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia.