Monday, June 18, 2018
American Grit

TV Sports News: American Grit Returns; White Men Can’t Jump

American Grit returns as WWE Superstar John Cena welcomes 17 new competitors who either have lost their grit or never had it to Hampton Island, GA, for season 2, premiering Sunday, June 11 at 9p on Fox. This season, “the Cadre” includes military heroes John Burk, Riki Long, Chloe Mondesir and Grady Powell.

I had a chance to interview Cena, who turns 40 years old in just a few weeks if you can believe it, in a press conference for last year’s season of American Grit and dang, that man is absolutely dedicated to whatever project he is working on (refrain from the “Cena Sucks” chants please LOL).

American Grit is a 10-episode competition series on FOX, The premise is simple: Sixteen of the country’s toughest men and women are split into four teams as they work together to face a variety of military-grade and survival-themed challenges. This season, “the Cadre” includes military heroes John Burk, Riki Long, Chloe Mondesir and Grady Powell.

The Cadre builds their teams and leverage their very different mentoring styles to prove they have what it takes to help their competitors find their grit. It will be as tough a competition for The Cadre as it is for the teams, as tensions will rise and emotions will flare. Each week, competitors undergo challenges where they must work together. Each week the winning team will be safe from elimination and the members of the losing teams go through a test of endurance to save their butts. Trust me, it makes the elimination challenges on Survivor and Big Brother look like preschool.

Cena recently appeared with Amy Schumer in Trainwreck, and with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in Sisters.

Last year he told me, “We are damn good entertainers, so good that the general populous who does not know the product thinks that’s all we can do, and that’s how well we do it,” he says. “They think we’re just oh, just this big crazy guy who does X, Y, and Z. No. We understand what we do and we do it extremely well, and opportunities like this, opportunities like the Today Show have been wonderful places to showcase different facets of what goes into performing in the WWE. How I’d love to be talking to you about Season 10 of American Grit, because I love, I truly love what the show stands for.”

AMERICAN GRIT is produced by Leftfield Pictures and executive-produced by David George, Brent Montgomery, Jon Kroll, Alycia Rossiter, Adam Sher, Will Nothacker, Simon Thomas and Anthony Carbone. John Cena also serves as executive producer. “Like” AMERICAN GRIT on Facebook at Follow the series on Twitter @AmericanGritFOX and join the conversation using #AmericanGrit.

But wait, there’s more!

Cena is one busy man. He recently announced on the TODAY Show that he will be voicing the character Ferdinand in a movie of the same name by Blue Sky Studios. His other movie (when does he sleep???) Amazon Studios’ The Wall, will be released in May.

Thought I’d finish up this week with a few more television and film tidbits:

It’s rival time!

First, the NBA Playoffs are underway and if you can’t get enough, then make sure you catch the HBO Sports documentary Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals. It’s returning across all of HBO’s platforms (including HBO GO, HBO NOW, HBO On-Demand, and affiliate portals) throughout the 2017 NBA playoffs. The 2010 documentary chronicles the fierce rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, and this year marks the 30th anniversary of the 1987 NBA Finals — the last championship matchup between the two basketball Hall-of-Famers.

It’s All About the Puppers

If you can’t get enough of the puppy competitions, then check out FS1 when they debut a one-hour documentary, Crowned: Inside the 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, on Sunday at 2:30p. The documentary goes behind the scenes of the and will be voiced by FOX Sports’ Chris Myers.

Finally, ICYMI

Ken Burns announced that he and two partners will make a two-part, four-hour film about Muhammad Ali that will, tentatively, air in 2021.

(Doesn’t it stink how long we have to wait for movies?)

I just found out that this is the 25th anniversary of White Men Can’t Jump. The official anniversary was in March, but it’s never too late to look back at a great flick. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it, but it’s worth seeing again too, so I’ll leave you with this:

About Lisa Iannucci

Lisa Iannucci has been interviewing professional athletes and Olympians, sports writers and film/tv personalities for more than a decade. Her book, A Film & TV Lover's Travel Guide is now available:

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