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Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez Co-Hosts AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR JUNIOR, Series Premiere 10/13 on Universal Kids

Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez Co-Hosts AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR JUNIOR, Series Premiere 10/13 on Universal Kids

Gold Medal Winning Olympic Gymnast Laurie Hernandez will co-host AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR Junior with Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila on Universal Kids, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment's network for kids 2-12. This next generation of AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR marks the first time some of the show's biggest fans can become part of this five-time Emmy nominated worldwide phenomenon. AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR Junior will premiere on October 13 at 7:00pm.

American Ninja Warrior Junior celebrates real kids taking on the iconic course with dedication and skill. Nearly 200 boy and girl Junior Ninjas from across the U.S. will face off on the same Head to Head courses in three age brackets: 9 & 10, 11 & 12, and 13 & 14 year olds. The courses will feature iconic Ninja Warrior obstacles, including Sonic Swing, Tic Toc, Spin Cycle, and the Warped Wall. Each age bracket will be mentored by All Star Ninja Mentors - Kevin Bull, Drew Drechsel, Natalie Duran, Meagan Martin, Najee Richardson, and Barclay Stockett. Three final winners (one per age bracket) will be crowned the first ever AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR Junior Champions.

"At Universal Kids, we see kids as they see themselves and want to share their stories," said Deirdre Brennan, General Manager Universal Kids. "American Ninja Warrior Junior celebrates a kid-centric movement that everyone can be a part of and enjoy together. It will encourage and inspire all kids to push their limits and not shy away from challenges."

"Over the last number of years, we have received an outpouring of letters and videos asking when is there going to be a Ninja show for kids? Well, the time is now! People are going to be amazed at how talented and dedicated these young ninjas are," said Arthur Smith, CEO of A. Smith & Co. Productions and Executive Producer of the 'American Ninja Warrior' franchise. "They're remarkable, and to know that they've been inspired by our show is immensely gratifying."

NBC's AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR was nominated for three Emmy's this year including Outstanding Reality-Competition program, Outstanding Directing for a Reality program, and Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured or Competition Reality program. The series is based on the global hit "Sasuke" from Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, which is now in its 35th season in Japan. The series is executive produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions founders Arthur Smith and Kent Weed ("Hell's Kitchen," "Titan Games," "NFL PRO BOWL Skills Showdown," "Unsung") along with Matt Cahoon.

For more information please visit and join the conversation at #ANWJR.

About A. Smith & Co. Productions

A. Smith & Co. Productions creates some of the most innovative, highly rated, and high-quality programming for the domestic and international television marketplace. The company has produced more than 4,500 hours of award-winning programming with budgets totaling well over one billion dollars across more than 50 networks and platforms. Current productions include "Hell's Kitchen," "American Ninja Warrior," "The Titan Games," "Unsung," "Inside the Label," "American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs. Ninja," "SciJinks," "NFL PRO BOWL Skills Showdown," "American Ninja Warrior Junior," "The Dunk King" and "Death by Magic." Past hits include "Kitchen Nightmares," "Ellen's Design Challenge," "Full Throttle Saloon," "Wizard Wars," "Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura," "UFC Countdown," "Joe Rogan Questions Everything," "Paradise Hotel," "I Survived a Japanese Game Show," "The Swan," "Trading Spaces," "Celebrity Duets," "Pros vs. Joes," "American Gangster," "The Game of Dating," "Skating with Celebrities" and many others. For more information, visit

About Universal Kids:

Universal Kids represents the world of NBCUniversal family brands. As a kid-focused ecosystem with great TV content at the center, Universal Kids is programmed for the 2-12 year old audience, with a fresh mix of animated content, unscripted entertainment, and proven international hits. Launched in September 2017 and available in over 59 million homes, Universal Kids is available for kids and families across all platforms, including on air, online, On Demand and via mobile with the Universal Kids app.

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