The 10-episode series, set to bow in 2016, will put 16 of America’s toughest civilians to the test as they work together to face a variety of military-grade and survival-themed challenges.
“The U.S. military is the epitome of resolve and dedication, which is why I am so excited to be a part of ‘American Grit,'” Cena said. “This show will not only be a challenging and fierce competition, but it will give viewers a glimpse into the perseverance and training of the men and women of the Armed Forces.”
In each episode, Cena and an elite group of military-trained mentors will push these men and women beyond their limits as well as impart their first-hand knowledge and experience. Known as the Cadre, these mentors include Rorke Denver, Noah Galloway, Tawanda “Tee” Hanible and Nick “The Reaper” Irving. Hoping to embody the military ethos of “no man left behind,” the first team to complete a challenge is safe from elimination. Each episode will culminate in “the Circus,” an obstacle course so punishing and endurance-testing that it’s designed to break the weakest competitors.
The series is produced by Leftfield Pictures, which is known for producing History’s breakout hit “Pawn Stars.”
“’American Grit’ is a bold, aspirational competition series that aligns with the spirit of the Fox unscripted brand,” said David Madden, president of entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Co. “The team at Leftfield and the incredible John Cena have created a series built on the pillars of determination, dedication and strength that we know will resonate with our audience. John is not only a phenomenal athlete but a motivational force, who inspires fans around the world, and we are thrilled he is leading the charge.”
Leftfield CEO and exec producer Brent Montgomery added “with John as their inspiration, our contestants will show viewers what happens when you swing for the fences with focus, commitment and teamwork.”
WWE superstar Cena went mainstream last summer after appearing in Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck.” Last year, Variety reported that he had partnered with Leftfield to produce reality series focused on regular people.
“For someone like me that’s surrounded by so many interesting characters, you know when you brush up against someone who can hold a room,” Cena told Variety then. “There are so many people out there who can hold someone’s attention.”