Lowe is the host and a producer on the series, which comes from “American Ninja Warrior” and “Hell’s Kitchen” producers A. Smith & Co. The series is described as “the first-ever obstacle course… for the mind.”
“Mental Samurai” features contestants as they “battle the boundaries of their minds to answer questions accurately with speed and precision,” according to the official logline. “Not only does the course test their acumen in categories of knowledge, memory, numbers, and sequencing, but players will also have to contend with being transported around the set at high speeds in a specially designed capsule that is capable of rotating 360 degrees.”
The show is one of several competition programs announced Thursday by Fox, also including the game show “Spin the Wheel” from executive producer Justin Timberlake, and the new celebrity singing series “The Masked Singer.”
Lowe is the latest star to take on the role of game show host, something that others like Ellen DeGeneres (“Ellen’s Game of Games”), Jane Lynch (“Hollywood Game Night”), Jamie Foxx (“Beat Shazam”), Alec Baldwin (“Match Game”) and many others have done in recent years.
“When I was 15, I won big on ‘The $10,000 Pyramid,’” said Lowe in a statement. “I’ve loved mental competition shows ever since. For me, ‘Mental Samurai’ is addicting. Every time you play, you think: THIS time I’m gonna win! But this very simple game is almost impossible to crack. Also, as a producer, I’m excited to get into this new arena.”
“Mental Samurai” also comes from Warner Horizon Unscripted & Alternative Television, run by former Fox alternative guru Mike Darnell.
“Mike Darnell and Arthur Smith are two of the most innovative and creative minds in unscripted television whose collaborations have been responsible for so many attention-grabbing FOX hits,” said Rob Wade, president, Alternative Entertainment and Specials, Fox Broadcasting Company. “Along with our incredibly entertaining host, Rob Lowe, they are the ideal partners for this one-of-a kind high-velocity competition series that takes the game show genre to the next level.”
The show will air sometime next season. Arthur Smith, Toby Gorman, Jeff Apploff and Noah Bonnett serve as executive producers. Rob Lowe serves as a producer.
Lowe’s recent TV credits include a guest stint on “The Orville,” as well as the CBS series “Code Black.” He next stars in and directs the Lifetime remake of the four-time Academy Award-nominated film “The Bad Seed.”