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Ninja warrior UK

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Case Study

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Ninja warrior UK

  1. 1. Ninja Warrior UK Case Study Ninja Warrior UK is the British version of the Japanese assault course game show Sasuke Broadcast – Saturday nights at 7pm Repeated on other ITV channels, including CITV; also shown on Challenge TV Made by Potato production company in Manchester for ITV
  2. 2. The games The hosts
  3. 3. Game Mechanics • One at a time, contenders get from one end of the course to the other, without falling off. Those who get furthest and in the fastest time advance to the semi-finals, and then to the final. Failure at any time is likely to see the player end up in water. • Six obstacles comprise the course in the heats. "Quintuple Steps" and "Dancing Stones" (two tests of agility) appeared for all players. The course ended with the "Warped Wall", an inclined wall that curves back on itself. • Three obstacles changed from week to week. Upper-body strength was tested by holding on to a moving object (a telegraph pole, or a door) and leaping off as it stopped. A later obstacle tested endurance and technique by crossing a chasm by climbing on curtains or hanging from ropes. There was also a jump onto a cargo net, aided by a rope or a swing. • Each episode allowed the ten best performances to progress to the next phase, this ensured that players wouldn't be unduly disadvantaged by a hard event. Further places were given to high-scoring losers, effectively ensuring that everyone who finished would come back. • The main commentary came from Ben Shepherd and Chris Kamara on the gantry above the warped wall, with Rochelle Humes on the floor to talk to contestants before the event or those who failed to complete the course. • Ninja Warrior UK had something for all the family. Young children enjoyed watching grown- ups fall into the water, the one joke on Total Wipeout that never got old. Slightly older viewers thought they might aspire to be that good. For the adults, there was athletic ability to appreciate in all its forms, and the tension of a contest to qualify.
  4. 4. • The challengers are billed as a mix of "have-a-go-heroes and seasoned athletes" both of which have the potential to be good for a laugh and get the audience rooting for them, whether they do well or just fail epically. • The 10 contestants, from each of the 5 qualifying rounds, who make it the furthest the fastest, qualify for the semi- finals, where there are nine obstacles. The top 10 contestants qualify for the final, which is split into four parts. The first part features nine obstacles and is timed; the second part features five obstacles with a strict time limit to create tension, and the third part features three untimed obstacles. Lastly, contestants must climb "Mount Midoriyama" with a 70 feet (21 m) rope. • Average 3.80 million viewers a week • Eight shows per series: five heats; two semi-finals and the final.
  5. 5. Set • Aerial tracking shot – moves quickly around set – UK flag designs behind audience • Large aircraft hangar type building – course in the middle and audience at the sides. Hosts at the front in front of scaffolding and next to screens. UK flags behind them “This is Ninja Warrior UK” • Spotlights roam across set; dominant lighting colours are red and blue • Dramatic music to create excitement – though not during actual games • Lights flash red and horn sounds when a contestant fails
  6. 6. Set • Hosts in long shot then cut to audience – cheering with banners • Cut to medium shot – relaxed hosts introduce themselves. Ben Shepherd (Good Morning Britain host; has hosted game shows such as The Krypton Factor and Tipping Point); Chris Kamara (ex- footballer and SKY football commentator and known for being highly excitable; also worked for ITV on Give a Pet a Home) and Rochelle Humes (singer and TV presenter; also worked on ITV’s The Next Great Magician, Good Morning, The Xtra Factor etc) • Synergy – hosts recognisable from other ITV shows so audience might be tempted to watch other things they do on ITV - so hosts well known across TV channels to a wide audience – will make audience feel comfortable; casually dressed – sleeves rolled up; hands in pockets • Representation – two Black presenters; one woman – though note it’s the white presenter who speaks first and the woman who speaks last. • Self-effacing – put audience at ease and makes them more engaging and creates upbeat atmosphere; mock themselves and each other – though also laugh at the contestants, especially when they fail • Relaxed with each other • Hyperbolic – “Course takes no prisoners”
  7. 7. Pre-titles • Voice – over male and energetic and hyperbolic – “toughest obstacle course on television” • Long, high swooping shots of set intercut with dramatic moments of contestants taking part and failing – shows how ‘dangerous’ and funny it is • Fast zooms with non-diegetic ‘swish’ sound to underline the speed • Voice-over talks about new contestants “They have come from all corners of the United Kingdom” – they could be you – helps the audience relate so they’ll be more likely to watch the show. • Screen shows slightly desaturated images of the contestants practising in gyms, outside etc; some brief interviews bragging to the camera “I’m 100% ready to do this…” • Some edits are flashes; some not • “This is where ordinary people become extraordinary.”
  8. 8. • Hosts introduce show with clips of epic fails – for comedy and thrills • Contestants line up and are shot (some in fancy costumes) in – low angle to make them look like heroes • Tasks introduced by clip of the ninja figure going over the course in front of an audience • Cuts to audience – close-ups/medium close-ups of audience laughing at commentators • During games, camera dollies back and cuts to various angles – moving all the time to create excitement – often long shots to show the nature of the task • Replays from various angles to highlight the success or failure of the contestants and give the hosts a chance to make fun of them.
  9. 9. Audience • Studio audience – important part of the show – cheer on contestants; laugh; shout their names - – sometimes boo! • Frequent cuts to audience to show their reactions • Diegetic sound of audience – important in creating atmosphere and feeling of enjoyment for the home audience • Contestants introduce themselves by encouraging the audience to shout and then stand in front of a screen. Sometimes see film of them at work with a voice over talking about themselves. • Cut away to contestants’ family to see their reactions.
  10. 10. • Hyperbolic voice-overs and replays, Hosts laugh – encourage audience laughter. • Humes interviews contestants on the ‘floor’ and there’s another replay as they talk about it. • The other two comment from the gallery • Tasks become more difficult • Exciting music while hosts read through scoreboard – adds tension ‘One more contestant to beat…’ • Split screens used to compare contestants’ times to increase tension.
  11. 11. Audience at home • Chance to win a prize – courtesy of Warner Brothers to promote Batman v Superman – illustrated with clips, pictures of money with graphics – £40,000, holiday, car, screening – split screen effect to show prizes - competition recapped at the end. • Tension – “Still to come…” before ad break – with clips and dramatic music. Triumphant music when succeed
  12. 12. Synergy – promoting other ITV programmes Synergy Links to other episodes
  13. 13. Official YouTube Channel. Includes full episodes, compilations, ‘Funny Fails’ etc

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