Aussie hit Ninja Warrior heading for NZ
Three has won the rights to screen a show that is such a success in Australia it has other networks running scared.
Australian Ninja Warrior hit Aussie screens on July 9, and has drawn such massive viewer numbers that other networks are reportedly scrambling to move their biggest shows to avoid competing in the same time slot as it.
Australian Ninja Warrior is Channel Nine's version of the American show American Ninja Warrior, itself based on a Japanese format called Sasuke, in which amateur athletes attempt to conquer a fearsome assault course to win the grand prize.
In nine seasons in the US, over 3500 have attempted the challenge; only one has gone on to win a cash prize. By season eight, 70,000 people were applying to compete.
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The Australian version's hosts include former England cricket all-rounder Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff and opened to ratings of over 1.6m viewers in Australia. Among competitors so far have been an Olympian and a national high jump champion.
In Australia, the Daily Telegraph has reported the "shock success" of Australian Ninja Warrior had rival networks scrambling to move their biggest shows in the schedule so they no longer competed with the show.
Among those shows which have been outrated are reality shows House Rules and MasterChef Australia while Seven had a new quiz show, Behave Yourself, which lagged by more than one million viewers. That led Seven to shift kid's talent show - Little Big Shots - as it was due to compete directly with Ninja Warrior on Sunday nights.
Three will screen the show later this year. Chief content officer Andrew Szusterman wouldn't be drawn on a date, but said he was "thrilled" to be bringing the show across the ditch.
"Australian Ninja Warrior's ratings for its first week on air in Australia have superseded any other non-sport show for some time.
We are thrilled we have secured it to bring to New Zealanders on Three later this year," he said.