As television networks and broadcasters look for programming that can be produced under COVID-19 compliant guidelines, NBC may have found the best possible series to make given the current pandemic predicament. The network has announced they're developing a reboot of the game show Weakest Link, a series that saw a team of contestants answer questions together and then vote out who they perceive to be the "Weakest Link" remaining in the group. Original host Anne Robinson will not be standing at the center podium for this version though, which has enlisted Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning host and actress Jane Lynch as its host.
"I've been a longtime fan of this game-changing quiz show since it first debuted," Lynch said in a statement. "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."
Thirteen episodes of the reboot have been ordered by the network with production set to begin later this year. It will feature the trademark fast-paced and quick-witted pillars of the original British format created by the BBC with a few modern twists. The original version of the series saw all the contestants and the host separated by quite a few feet, so shooting this game show under current coronavirus precaution protocols would be almost no problem at all with regard to social distancing.
"'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 & 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.'"
First premiering in the UK in 2000, the series has been produced in 44 territories around the globe, with over 1,500 episodes having aired in the UK alone. When NBC aired their version of the series in 2001 it launched with 15.1 million viewers. The series averaged nearly 13 million viewers to rank among television's top 35 primetime broadcast series.
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