American Ninja Warrior Executive Producer Arthur Smith has been named “Producer of the Year” by “Broadcasting & Cable Magazine”.
Arthur Smith is the founder of A. Smith and Co, the production company that took over American Ninja Warrior back in its second season. Smith has seen Ninja Warrior through its transition from a small show with a rabid following on G4, to a highlight of NBC’s summer programming schedule.
He told us more about those early days on the show when we interviewed him about Ninja Warrior’s history.
“Neal Tiles, who was running G4 at the time, had been a colleague of mine. He’d been a marketing guy at Fox Sports when I was there. Neal was the one who actually introduced me.
He called me. I had been watching the Japanese version and getting a kick out of that. He called me, said ‘take a look at this and tell me what you think.’ Right away, I remember there was this Japanese plumber. And I was so interested in the stories of everyday people doing extraordinary things. I love sports. Television is my first love. I always gravitate towards things where the personal part, the personal story, work in tandem with what they’re actually doing.
The course was visually interesting. The challenges were great. But it was the combination that always excited me. Neal and I got together and he said what do you think? What do you think we could do? We came up with a plan and off we went. We had to figure out how to do it on a budget first hand, but we did.
Even when I look back at those early shows. They were amazing then. We really believed in it from the very beginning. But we never believed it would grow into what it’s now grown into. That’s how it started.”
A. Smith and Co. has produced over 180 shows, including Ninja vs Ninja and American Ninja Warrior Junior. In his interview with Broadcast & Cable Magazine, Smith discussed the phenomena that is Ninja Warrior.
“Actually, Ninja is a great example of how we’ve been successful by getting invested in people. That is the whole emphasis of the show, because there’s no reason for an obstacle course show to be on in primetime at NBC. We’ve made the obstacle course into a metaphor for life, and it was purposeful and it was planned.”
Read the whole interview here.
Congratulations to Arthur Smith! It’s an honor that’s well-deserved!