NBC is reaching back to its unscripted past for a revival of game show Weakest Link.
Jane Lynch — who hosts the network’s Hollywood Game Night — will serve as host for the new version, which NBC says will begin production later in the year. The network has ordered 13 episodes of the show, which is based on a British format. BBC Studios and Universal Television Alternative Studio are producing.
“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 debuted in 2001 on NBC, with host Anne Robinson (who also hosted the British show) presiding over the game. The show was meant to be NBC’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and started strong in the ratings but faded fairly quickly. It ended in 2002; a syndicated version lasted two seasons.
“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 of NBC’s reality and alternative group. “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.”
As with the previous version, the new Weakest Link will have contestants answering general-knowledge questions to increase the prize pot. At the end of each round, the players vote out who they believe is the “weakest link” in the game.
“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 at 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.”
The show — assuming it’s able to start production as planned amid a spike in novel coronavirus cases in California — could also be a hedge against a slow return of scripted programming on NBC. The network has planned a “fall” schedule that features a dozen returning shows, but has not set any premiere dates for its programming.
Vulture first reported the news.