The Weakest Link (US)

NBC (ended 2002)


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The Weakest Link (US)

Show Summary

This British import, along with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, helped kick off a brief game show craze. The host, Anne Robinson, the same as the British version, was frighteningly rude to the players, insulting their lack of knowledge with some acidic remarks and glaring looks. While the clock ticked down from two minutes, (ten seconds less each subsequent round), questions were tossed to each player. A correct response raised the bank, and each player could call out "Bank" before their question, to shift the winnings into the kitty. Any wrong answer, and the bank would revert to the first stage. A string of eight correct answers could give the team $125,000 per round. At the end of each round, the players voted someone off. That person had to suffer walking in disgrace across the stage, then giving a short opinion about losing. The last two played a final round, in which the bank was doubled, then faced each other in a best of five question showdown. Only one took home the money. The catch phrase, "You are the weakest link. Good-bye.", caught on with viewers. At one point in the summer of 2001, eight of the top 25 U.S. prime time shows were contests. 'Link's initial ratings were a big boost to NBC, which quickly added a second weekly time slot, and ordered a second season of episodes. However, during the aftermath of 9/11, and the Afghan war, TV schedules were disrupted, many shows were pre-empted, and the momentum slowed. In that winter, NBC cut the broadcast to once a week, on Sunday night, but then the NBA games often cut off the beginning of the show, and during the playoffs, shows were rescheduled for future dates. More and more special celebrity episodes were aired. Interest was falling, ratings dropped, and on May 16, 2002, Jeff Zucker, entertainment president, announced the cancellation. On July 14, NBC aired it's last new episode. Later that year, some of the unaired shows appeared on PAX network. This was a great relief to some of the game winners, who didn't get paid until the broadcast, and were sworn to secrecy under threat of lawsuits. The remaining episodes later aired on GSN, who had bought the rights.


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    • one of my favorites

      I wish I could bring back The Weakest Link to American audiences (a 2013 remake), it's a shame that the american version didn't get to enjoy the same success that Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? had
    • It's not just a quiz show, it's a funny one!

      Ever since I was 7, I loved the Weakest Link. I love seeing them make money, but I also like seeing Anne be mean to the contestants and make jokes and stuff. It really makes it more than a quiz show. And the contestants add there own little spice to it. We do get the nice drama from other contestants as well as some contestants coming back at Anne...A LOT! And then we have all the hilarious answers, stupid, and all the funny stuff that happens, especially with celebrity shows. So, if you want to watch a quiz that is entertaining, funny, juicy, AND enjoyable the Weakest Link is for you!moreless
    • Funny and competitive trivia show.

      This show was hosted by a lady who had no mercy on the contestants. Other shows just tell you you're wrong and move on to the next person. Not here: the players were berated, called names, asked how could they possibly miss it, and so forth. There are those who see the humor as too harsh. I'd like to look at it in another context: it added drama to the otherwise dull and indistinguishable pack of game shows that had cluttered the airwaves. What's wrong with a little excitement in game shows? On this program, the players really had to battle to stay in the running. It wasn't like any others of its time, and we haven't seen many better since.moreless
    • Another trivia show

      Another trivia show. This show was brought to the US at the height of the trivia show phase in the late nineties. It's appeal is that a group of people have a certain amount of time to answer trivia questions. Each right answer moves them up the ladder. Each wrong answer moves them back down to 0. If they bank, they get all money accumulated at that point. At the end of each round, the group votes to eliminate a contestant. I like trivia shows, so I watched this one. It's interesting to watch, even in reruns. It's fun to try to answer the trivia questions as well as to see the contestants on the show try to answer. It's an interesting format, but is only at it's best with Anne Robinson as the host.moreless
    • You're the Weakest Link - if you don't like this show! It's a must for all people!

      Yay, knowledge! That's right, you could actually LEARN something from this show. People are asked questions and they have to answer them right and bank money for the team. It's hilarious to watch people get questions wrong and get snapped at by the host, Anne. She's got some mean funny insults at the players. This is probably the greatest game show out there, it's unfortunate that it doesn't run anymore. Anne is a great host with some great insults and a fabulous personality. The idea of the show and the way it works is quite interesting. For all people, the Weakest Link will be a hilarious "game" show!moreless

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