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'American Ninja Warrior' heads to Las Vegas for start of national finals

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Fri, Aug 24th 2018 07:05 pm
`American Ninja Warrior - Las Vegas Finals`: Pictured is Daniel Gil. (NBC photo by David Becker)
"American Ninja Warrior - Las Vegas Finals": Pictured is Daniel Gil. (NBC photo by David Becker)
Nation's top Ninjas will compete for a chance to win $1 million & title of 'American Ninja Warrior'; new prize of $100,000 will be awarded to 'Last Ninja Standing'
Three-time Emmy Award-nominated obstacle course competition series "American Ninja Warrior" heads to Las Vegas for the start of the national finals on Monday, Aug. 27 (8 p.m. ET).
Ninja veterans, including Drew Drechsel, Najee Richardson, Meagan Martin, Jesse Labreck, the "Cowboy Ninja" Lance Pekus, Daniel Gil, Flip Rodriguez and 19-year-old rookie Mathis "Kid" Owhadi, will take on the world's toughest obstacle course for a chance to win $1 million. Additionally, the ninja who goes the furthest on the course will walk away with the new "last ninja standing" prize of $100,000.
Audiences can look forward to seeing Massachusetts school teacher Allyssa Beird take on the course after her historic run last year when she became only the second woman to hit a buzzer on stage one. University of Houston student Owhadi attempts to make history by being the youngest competitor ever to complete stage one. Also, another strong competitor featured in the National Finals is Kenny Niemitalo, whose life changed forever when an "American Ninja Warrior" viewer reached out to donate a kidney to his ailing daughter after seeing her story on the show that season. This year he's paying it forward and telling the world about two teenagers from his area that are in desperate need of donors in order to survive.
This season "American Ninja Warrior" completed city qualifying and city finals rounds of competition in six cities: Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. The national finals, held in Las Vegas, will kick off with the first of four stages on Monday, Aug. 27, and culminate with the season finale featuring the second, third and fourth stages on Monday, Sept. 10.
"American Ninja Warrior" heads into the national finals on a ratings high note as both the Aug. 13 and 20 episodes scored as the No. 1 most-watched telecasts on broadcast or cable for each of those nights. Overall, "Ninja" is generating a 1.3 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.8 million viewers this season in "live plus seven day" averages from Nielsen Media Research. In "most current" summer-to-date figures, "Ninja Warrior" is delivering a top-10 average among primetime shows on the "Big 4" networks in adults 18-49 and is tied for No. 2 among kids 2-11 behind only "America's Got Talent." 
NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" is nominated for three Emmys this year, including Outstanding Reality-Competition program, Outstanding Directing for a Reality Program and Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured or Competition Reality program.

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