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Jessie Graff becomes first woman to clear Stage 1 in “American Ninja Warrior” Las Vegas finals!
Global social media blow up - 100 million plus views of victorious run logged at possible world-record pace!


Copyright (c) David Becker/NBC|2016 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Stuntwoman Jessie Graff made history in the 8th season of “American Ninja Warrior” (ANW8), the US version of TBS sports entertainment program “SASUKE,” when she became the first woman to conquer Stage 1 of the obstacle course in the Las Vegas finals. Traditional and social media in the US and around the world enthusiastically celebrated this accomplishment, and the video of the feat logged over 100 million views online within just four days, possibly setting a new world record.

ANW8 airs weekly 8-10 p.m. in prime time on the NBC network, with encore presentations on Esquire Network each following night. After taking a break of over two weeks to broadcast the Rio Olympics live, NBC aired the ANW Philadelphia finals on August 21 and the first part of the ANW Las Vegas finals on August 29. The first stage of the world’s most difficult obstacle course took down most of the competitors, male and female alike, but Jessie Graff coolly and confidently took on the obstacles one by one, becoming the first woman to progress onward in the finals. Her victorious run helped this episode of ANW8 dominate its time slot in the crucial 18-49 demographic and in the total number of viewers.

Jessie Graff’s amazing accomplishment was reported on by major media across the globe: in the US, by “The Washington Post,” “USA Today,” “People” and “Cosmopolitan,” and TV networks FOX and ESPN; in the UK, by “The Sun” and “Daily Mail”; and in Australia, by TV news network Nine News, just to name a few. In addition, soon after the broadcast, the video went up on the official websites of the program’s two networks, NBC and Esquire, as well as on the program’s official Facebook page. The video logged hundreds of thousands of views on Facebook within minutes of going up, and, as of September 7, it has over 116 million views, over 1 million Likes, over 1.3 million shares, and over 100,000 comments. The video logged the astounding figure of 100 million views on Facebook in around just 4 days of being uploaded, and it has also received millions of additional views on YouTube. Moreover, the multilingual comments and shares reflect the video’s wide-reaching global popularity.

There are videos of other Japan-related contents which have logged over 100 million views but even the fastest one took well over two years to do so. The most popular video in 2016 thus far has taken four months to reach 160 million views. In 2013, the music video for “Gentleman” by PSY reached 100 million views in only four days. Thus, it is possible that the video of Jessie Graff’s Stage 1 triumph may have set a new world record; further research is required to confirm this.

The popularity of ANW has grown by leaps and bounds in each of its eight seasons, and the program was recently nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Reality-Competition Program 2016. Considered the most prestigious of the Emmy Awards, which include the Daytime and International Emmys, the Primetime Emmy Awards will be held on September 18 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Though the competition is tough, hopes are high among fans that ANW will be a winner for the first time.

Video clips and other information related to the SASUKE family of programs have proven to be very social media-friendly. In 2014, Kacy Catanzaro became the first woman to make it through the ANW qualifiers. In 2013, at age 52, Jon Stewart became the first athlete over 50 to make it through the ANW qualifiers, and, last year, Isaac Caldiero became the first athlete to conquer all of the stages in the ANW finals and achieve total victory. Each of these accomplishments was widely reported on in the US media and trended on a global scale on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. The excitement over Jessie Graff’s ANW feat, however, has gone beyond “buzz” to become a phenomenon on an entirely different scale. It adds even further to the global cachet of SASUKE programs, which have been aired in 165 countries and territories and include 12 local productions outside Japan with more in the works. Both in the physical world and the online world, the popularity of ANW and the global SASUKE brand remains very much on the rise!

■ About Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc. (TBS)

With over 50 years of experience licensing programming overseas, Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc. (TBS) has distributed programs of all genres – dramas, anime, documentaries, formats, movies – totaling several tens of thousands of hours of programming in over 160 countries worldwide and has firmly established its presence as a major content provider in the global arena. TBS is one of the most innovative broadcasters in creating variety formats, having licensed nearly 200 localized versions with several thousand episodes being produced including global hits like America’s Funniest Home Videos, Takeshi’s Castle/MXC, Sasuke/Ninja Warrior, etc. Looking ahead, TBS aims to further raise its profile overseas by expanding sales around the world of TBS hit shows and take advantage of new opportunities in the digital market place.

NBC Official Facebook “American Ninja Warrior”

NBC Official Facebook “American Ninja Warrior Nation”
Link to Jessie Graff’s video

Esquire Official Facebook “Ninja Warrior”
Link to Jessie Graff’s video

TBS International Program Sales official Facebook page

TBS International Program Sales official Twitter account



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