The hit British import and international game show format Weakest Link is making a comeback with Jane Lynch as host and executive producer. NBC has greenlit 13 episodes of the rapid-fire quiz show, with production to begin later this year.
Co-produced by BBC Studios’ Los Angeles production arm and Universal Television Alternative Studio, 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, NBC says. 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,” said Lynch. “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 & 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 hugely successful format distributed by BBC Studios has been produced in 44 territories around the globe, with over 1,500 episodes having aired in the UK alone.
The original run of Weakest Link on NBC launched on 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, Weakest Link, with original UK host Anne Robinson, averaged nearly 13 million viewers to rank among television’s top 35 primetime broadcast series.
Weakest Link is casting now. You can apply here.
Lynch is five-time Emmy Award winner who received back-to-back Emmys for her role as host of Hollywood Game Night. Lynch recently hosted a special remote edition of Hollywood Game Night for Red Nose Day in May. Known for her Emmy and Golden Globe-winning portrayal of Sue Sylvester on Glee, Lynch currently co-stars on Amazon’s award-winning comedy series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Weakest Link is produced by BBC Studios in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio. Ryan O’Dowd will serve as executive producer for BBC Studios. Stuart Krasnow, who executive produced the original NBC run, will return in the same role and also serve as showrunner. Lynch will also executive produce.