BBC Studios to co-produce reboot of successful international format with Universal Television Alternative Studio
NBC is bringing back hit British import and international game show phenomenon “Weakest Link,” co-produced by BBC Studios’ Los Angeles production arm and Universal Television Alternative Studio. The network has greenlit 13 episodes of the rapid-fire quiz show with Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning host and actress Jane Lynch (“Hollywood Game Night,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) set to host and executive produce. “Weakest Link” will begin production later this year.
The new version of “Weakest Link” will deliver the fast-paced and quick-witted pillars of the original British format created by the BBC with a few modern twists. The hybrid game show sees contestants answer general knowledge questions to bank prize money across multiple rounds. At the end of each round, the contestants vote out who they perceive to be the “Weakest Link” remaining.
“I’ve been a longtime fan of this game-changing quiz show since it first debuted,” Lynch said. “Each time the phrase ‘You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye,’ passes my lips, it will be with great reverence and delight.”
“ ‘Weakest Link’ became an instant fan-favorite when it first aired on our network, and we are excited to bring a fresh, new take to the timeless format,” said Meredith Ahr, president, reality and alternative group, NBC Entertainment. “Jane Lynch has been a beloved staple in our NBC family for years, and her sharp wit and engaging personality will be the perfect match for this highly entertaining game show.”
“ ‘Weakest Link’ is an iconic format that BBC Studios has distributed across the globe for the past two decades, capturing audiences and earning a place in pop culture history,” said Matt Forde, managing director, international production and formats, BBC Studios. “Our Los Angeles production arm is proud to partner with NBC to bring the fastest and fiercest game show on TV back to America, and Jane Lynch is the ideal host to bring her own signature brand of fearless comedy to this fresh version of ‘Weakest Link.’ ”
In each episode, eight contestants enter the studio as total strangers but must work together to bank the maximum amount of prize money available in each round. The contestants take turns to answer general knowledge questions to build chains of correct answers. Consecutive correct answers greatly increase the value of the chain, while incorrect answers break the chain and force the contestants to start over on the lowest rung with the smallest amount money. At the end of each round, contestants vote to eliminate the fellow contestant they consider to be the “Weakest Link” in the chain. The contestant who receives the highest number of votes leaves the game as the host declares the iconic phrase, “You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye.”
The successful format distributed by BBC Studios has been produced in 44 territories around the globe, with over 1,500 episodes having aired in the U.K. alone.
The original run of “Weakest Link” on NBC launched April 16, 2001, with 15.1 million viewers, giving NBC its biggest audience in the timeslot with regular programming in nearly five years, since May 1996. For that season, “The Weakest Link” averaged nearly 13 million viewers to rank among television’s top 35 primetime broadcast series. Original U.K. host Anne Robinson’s contemptuous interplay with the competitors set the show apart from its contemporaries.
“Weakest Link” is casting now. Put your trivia skills and pop culture knowledge to the test. If you have the speed and smarts to win the grand prize, apply at theweakestlinkcasting.com. You must be 18 years or older, and other terms and conditions may apply.
Lynch is a five-time Emmy Award winner who received back-to-back Emmys for her role as host of “Hollywood Game Night.” She recently hosted a special remote edition of “Hollywood Game Night” for Red Nose Day in May.