American Ninja Warrior will be back for Season 12 in the fall of 2020! The first episode will air on September 7th, 2020. The condensed season, featuring only 150 ninjas, will be 8 episodes long, with an all new format. There will be qualifiers (a 6 obstacle course), a Semi-Finals (featuring 10 obstacles), and then a finals, which will be a 10 obstacle course + Power Tower playoff bracket. There will be no national finals / Vegas this year. It is expected that in 2021 the series will return to the normal regional qualifying, regional finals, and Vegas national finals.  Season 11 had seen the introduction of the Power Tower and with it the safety and speed passes, tweaks to the Mega Wall rules, and the crowning of another American Ninja Warrior – the first in several years.

Season 12 of American Ninja Warrior to return September 7, 2020

The season will be eight episodes long. It was filmed over two weeks in St. Louis, Missouri at The Dome at America’s Center. At the end of July, one of the production teams shared their contributions towards helping making a safe condensed socially distanced season happen.

Season 12 American Ninja Warrior Airing Dates

The first episode of Season 12 is airing on Monday September 7th, 2020. See the next section for more details about the qualifiers & format.

Season 12 of American Ninja Warrior Changes & Competition Format

Due to the truncated season, limited number of ninjas, and the fact filming took place in one location, the format for this season will be different. According to NBC, “The series will feature an abridged format with multiple rounds: Qualifiers (6 obstacle course), Semi-Finals (10 obstacle course) and Finals (10 obstacle course + Power Tower playoff bracket). To determine the winner during the Finals, the top eight ninjas will compete in a playoff bracket where they will race head-to-head on the Power Tower. The winner will earn $100,000.” What does this mean in practice?

There will be 4 episodes of qualifying. From each episode, 12 ninjas will advance to the semi-finals. Unlike previous seasons, hitting a buzzer does not guarantee that you advance. If there are more than 12 ninjas who hit the buzzer, finishing time will be used to decide who advances. The top 3 women also qualify – even if there are not 3 women in the top 12. There will be two episodes of semi-finals. The top 12 ninjas from each semi-final will advance to the finals – in addition to the top 2 women. The top 8 ninjas in the finals will then take part in a playoff bracket on the Power Tower (no guaranteed advancement for any women from the finals to power tower playoff bracket). The winner of the playoff bracket wins the $100,000 for the season. This season will not have any sort of 4-stage Vegas national finals – the Power Tower is it!

The one quirk to all of this is in the qualifying rounds – the top 2 ninjas in each qualifying episode will compete on the Power Tower. Whoever wins then gets to bring along their two teammates, or group-mates, to the semi-final rounds to compete, even if the two teammates weren’t in the top 12. This is the only round and place where the ninjas groupings & team matters for competition purposes.

Ninjas Selected to Compete on American Ninja Warrior Season 12 2020

Unfortunately, given the condensed timeframe to film, all the 600+ ninjas originally selected to compete for Season 12 weren’t invited to take part in the special filming sessions. 50 ninjas from previous seasons were invited to compete – and each of them then invited two other ninjas, who were a mix of returning ninjas as well as first time competitors. The following is a list of ninjas expected to be competing this season, based on ninjas sharing their participation.

Updated Tapings Locations & Dates of American Ninja Warrior Season 12 2020

The dates and filming locations for ANW 2020 are:

  • St. Louis, Missouri: The Dome at America’s Center – Taping July 14 – 26

Original Season 12 Taping & Casting Information

Season 12 Filming (& Airing) Delays due to Global Pandemic

The day before filming was supposed to take place in Los Angeles, producers announced that filming would be postponed as a safety precaution. The next week, they also announced production would be delayed for the filming of DC. St. Louis filming was delayed on March 20th. This page will be updated with new dates & locations as they are announced. The dates & locations shown below are the original ones announced, before filming delays. At this point it isn’t known if the delays will impact the dates the show will air on NBC. However, as the final delay was announced on March 20th, source as NBC reported they still planned to have a Season 12 of American Ninja Warrior, they just didn’t know when.

Original Tapings Locations & Dates of American Ninja Warrior Season 12 2020

The dates and filming locations for ANW 2020 are:

  • Los Angeles, California: Postponed (Originally March 13 – 14: Universal Studios Backlot)
  • Washington, D.C.: Postponed (Originally April 6 – 7: DC Armory)
  • Washington, D.C.: Postponed (Originally April 11 – 12: DC Armory)
  • St. Louis, Missouri: Postponed (Originally May 5 – 6: The Dome at America’s Center)
  • St. Louis, Missouri: Postponed (Originally May 10 – 11: The Dome at America’s Center)
  • Las Vegas, Nevada: Early June & Venue TBA

As you can see above, there are some changes this year! Rather than taping in 6 unique cities like last year (Los Angeles, Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Baltimore, Seattle/Tacoma, and Cincinnati), filming will only take place in 3 cities. However, for the first time ever, multiple regionals will be filmed at the same location (over 2 different weekends). Building out the trial with stadiums from last year, most of the filming will also take place indoors, and during the day.

Original Ninjas Selected to Compete on American Ninja Warrior Season 12 2020

The first casting calls for Season 12 of American Ninja Warrior started to go out on February 3rd, 2020. We have an updated list of ninjas competing on American Ninja Warrior Season 12 in 2020 for each region as calls out, so click into each city below to see will be in each region (if a city isn’t clickable yet calls haven’t begun for that city).

Casting & Qualifying to compete on American Ninja Warrior (ANW) Season 12 in 2020

Casting for Season 12 of American Ninja Warrior opened in early September, 2019.  The deadline to apply for Season 12 is December 6th, 2019!!.  You can submit an application to be on the show here. Taping dates should be in March, April or May of 2020, with exact locations still TBD. The application requires several page of details, and a submission video. See our tips for creating a ANW submission video here.

Attending & Getting free tickets for taping of an episode of ANW Season 12, 2020

A few weeks before each episode films, the production company will post a link where you can sign up for tickets. They are usually free, you just have to sign up quickly to get a spot! You can join the waitlist for season 12 tickets here. The website currently expects tickets for taping of season 12 to become available in the middle of February 2020.