Boasting of winning the ratings war for the last 10 summers in a row, NBC has announced the debuts of America’s Got Talent, American Ninja Warrior and Making It. These competition shows are completely different from each other and yet highly addictive. And hopefully, these shows will return to normal with more original episodes, less repeats and maybe even some live, in-person audiences. (Although, the network did get good at presenting a virtual audience with a wall of videos last year.) Here’s what you can expect from each show:
American Ninja Warrior
Season 13 of American Ninja Warrior, where some of the most elite athletes in the country compete on the world’s most difficult obstacle courses, will return on Monday, May 31, 2021. Hosts Matt Iseman, Akbar Gbajabiamila and Zuri Hall are all back to call the action, which is set to take place in Seattle, Los Angeles and Las Vegas for the finals.
The new season will feature more than 400 competitors and, for the first time in ANW history, the age limit to compete is being lowered to 15 years old. Ninja Warrior is a sport that has been rapidly growing across the country and kids of all ages are embracing it in record numbers. Some of today’s most promising talent are younger competitors and now teenagers will have the chance to compete alongside adult athletes.
A top prize of $1 million will go to the winner if they can conquer all four stages at the National Finals in Las Vegas. To get there, competitors will need to make it through the qualifying rounds and semifinals.
America’s Got Talent
The 16th season of America’s Got Talent returns on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 with a new set of aspiring performers looking to compete for the ultimate $1 million prize. Executive producer Simon Cowell returns to the star-studded judging panel with Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara. Terry Crews also returns as host.
NBC says that this season promises some of the wildest acts to ever grace the AGT stage after an unprecedented number of submissions poured in from across the country. However, it would be nice if they could at least give us a hint or two on what those new acts will be.
Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman are coming back for the third season of Making It on Thursday, June 3, 2021, reuniting two of pop culture’s biggest BFFs and celebrating the creativity and craftiness in all of us.
This season’s eight episodes highlight how making things brings together communities, friends, neighbors and families, serving as a reminder of the importance of positivity and imagination, which is needed now more than ever. And unlike the first two seasons the of the show, it looks as if NBC will allow the show to air just one episode each week instead of running back-to-back episodes. It’s a great show, but it can become too much really quick.
Eight of the most talented makers from across the country will take on a variety of handmade projects with the hopes of impressing Poehler, Offerman, trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson and creative visionary/author Simon Doonan who serve as judges. What “makes” this show is the banter between Poehler and Offerman. They don’t come off as “stars” but just regular people. You just want to have them over for dinner after watching the show. (Then again, they are actors…)
Every episode revolves around a central theme that draws inspiration from hugely popular, nationwide trends in crafting and DIY, which the whole family can enjoy. First, the “faster-craft” round tests their ability to not only work quickly but imaginatively as well. Next, the makers move to the “master craft,” a one-of-a-kind themed challenge in which the competitors will need to use their expertise and innovation in order to assemble a winning craft that fits the theme of that week. New this season is the first-ever Mega Craft challenge, which will span an entire episode and allow the makers to better showcase their skills.
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.