Scene: Production offices NBC
Present: Production team of American Ninja Warriors
Season Eleven! We’re on now, what? Six? Eight? Channels. Plus On Demand? We need content, people I’m thinking three new productions a week. Same format . Expand the number of cities.
Huh? Iowa’s not a city. Let’s sharpen up here.
Yeah, Omaha is not in Iowa. Don’t worry about venues. We’ll figure that out. Content. Think Content.
No, what we don’t need are ninjas. Every gym has a nut jobs climbing walls and hanging from rafters. We got more ninjas than we can use. And they keep coming back for more. We need new. New content.
No, we’re not going to do Junior Ninjas. Sorry. I know there are no bad ideas in a creative meeting, but… that’s …. Thanks for your contribution, Bill.
Why? Because torturing kids is bad tv. Torturing adults? Gold.
Think. Not the same old courses. Something more … intense.
Animals? Bill, what does that even mean? Animals running the course?
Oh, part of the course. That’s not bad. What do you have in mind?
Badgers? Like the honey badger?
Yeah, I’d call them intense. Let’s pull the whole eviscerating fast moving cranky family of fanged predators from consideration for now. Wolverines, weasels …
What? Snakes? That’s insane … well …I guess constrictors could work. Focus! The course, team. We need to pump up the challenge on the courses. The usual courses are fine for the prelims, but once these ninjas get good, most of them get through.
No, we don’t want them to get through. Or many of them. One or two.
Right. Because painful, shameful failure is great tv, and fat guys in Barcaloungers want to see these crazed chiselled ninjas hit the water.
OK, the snake filled water.
So what elements have we not considered? We did the enormous rolling log. That was good. No place to grip and the certainty of being crushed. Crushed then pitched into the water. More like that would be great.
Flaming darts? Really? Great visual, but we can’t kill people. We need obstacles, people.
Steve? Some kind of grasping thing with tentacles?
OK, and suction cups. Still not clear on the …
Not alive. Good. A machine. Programmed to do what?
Hold them under water? Isn’t that another way to kill people? This is Ninja Warrior not Guantanamo.
Oh, just until they start to black out, then what?
Shoot them out of a water cannon? Where?
The pinball level. What’s the pinball level?
And the giant flippers do what?
We’re back to the flaming darts, people. Test of stamina is one thing; death by giant flipper? Not a good visual.
I’m sorry. Did you say “reading challenge”? Moving right along.
“Wall of pain”. Sounds good, Liz. How’s it work?
Who operates the nail gun while they try to climb the wall?
The computer just shoots randomly? Maybe hits; maybe misses? That could work.
Look. The rolling log has been fabulous. What else could we use as a rolling obstacle?
Bill, we’re not going to use a rolling animal. Not going to cross that line. What is it with you and animals? No, actually I don’t want to know.
“Balls of Doom”? Don’t even …
An ice wall? A wall made of ice? Not bad. Not cheap, but not bad.
Think hanging. We knock off about three quarters of the ninjas when they have to hang.
Hooks? I don’t think so. Ninja Meat Locker. Not good.
We already have poles. Nobody has any problem with poles.
What kind of adhesive?
We’re not going to wrap the ninjas in teflon. Viewers like seeing nearly naked ninjas. That’s how Survivor gets thirty eight seasons, Folks.
Whirling blades? Won’t that eliminate competitors a bit more forcefully than a splashdown?
Oh, like a jet engine fan, blowing them sideways. Sure, sure. That could work.
Pretty sure we’re not going with mascots, but if we do, you are first in line.