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Weakest Link (also known as The Weakest Link) is a television game show which first appeared in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 14 August 2000 and originally ended on 31 March 2012 when its host Anne Robinson completed her contract. The original British version of the show is still aired around the world on BBC Entertainment. The game begins with a team of eight or nine contestants who take turns answering general knowledge questions within a time limit to create chains of correct answers in a row. At the end of each round, the players vote one contestant, "The Weakest Link", out of the game. Once two players are left, they play in a head-to-head contest, with five questions asked to each contestant in turn, to determine the winner.
|Created by||Fintan Coyle|
|Original work||Weakest Link (United Kingdom)|
|Films and television|
|Television series||Weakest Link (independent international versions, see below)|
|Video game(s)||Weakest Link (2001)|
|First aired||14 August 2000|
The format has been licensed across the world, with many countries producing their own series of the programme and is the second most popular international franchise, behind only the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? franchise, which also originated in the UK.
The programme sees a group of contestants ranging from five to nine players who will need to work as a team to try to win as much as possible of a maximum cash jackpot by correctly answering general-knowledge questions in a series of rapid-fire rounds.
Each round features a money chain of anywhere from five to nine increasing cash values, with a maximum cash target that the team must attempt to reach within a time limit. Questions are asked of the team members sequentially. In the first round, play will typically start with the first player alphabetically or by a random-draw before the game starts. The team can most quickly achieve the target by stringing together a chain of consecutive correct answers, the minimum number of which depends on the number of "links" in the money chain, usually but not always the same as the number of contestants at the start of the show. A correct answer increases the value of the succeeding question, while an incorrect answer breaks the chain, losing all money accumulated in that chain. A contestant can secure the accumulated money in the chain by saying "Bank" before their question is asked, some versions require the contestant to wait to bank until their name is called; doing so however resets the chain to zero and the team must rebuild again. The round ends when the team has either run out of time or banked the target, in which case the round ends prematurely. The target amount is the maximum amount available in the round. If the team banks a total exceeding this amount, it is rounded down to the maximum amount. Only the money that has been banked is taken forward in the game, forming the total prize money available at the end.
Each round ends with the team voting off one person from the game. Before the votes are revealed, a voice-over announcer reveals who statistically is the Strongest Link and Weakest Link, determined by how many questions were answered correctly and incorrectly, the amount of money banked and lost, and the total monetary value of the questions asked. The votes are then revealed, followed by inquiry by the host for the reasoning behind the vote, along with berating of the contestants. The person with the most votes is named the Weakest Link regardless of the statistics, is eliminated from the game, and wins nothing. In the event of a tie, the Strongest Link is immediately deemed immune from the vote and must break the tie.
This process repeats, with each successive round beginning with the Strongest Link from the last round, or the second-Strongest Link, if the Strongest Link was voted off, and the time limit available to them decreasing usually by 10 or 15 seconds. Once there are two players remaining, they play one final round, where the money banked is multiplied by a certain amount. In some versions, however, the game has gone straight to the head-to-head finale after the final elimination.
The final two contestants then compete in a head-to-head round to determine the winner, with the Strongest Link from the last round determining who begins the round. The contestants are alternately asked a series of five questions each. The player who correctly answers the most wins the money accumulated in the game. If there is a draw, the game continues to sudden death, where the first to answer a question correctly over their opponent's incorrect answer wins. The loser, like all other contestants prior, goes home with nothing.
Game rule and format variationsEdit
Compared with the original format, the others have some changes, making them not the same as the original.
In the UK original series, the host is Anne Robinson. Producers chose her with the intention of being both firm to the contestants yet understanding when a contestant gets voted off. However, in producing the show, Robinson began to act cold, harsh and nasty to the contestants. Some international hosts like Chazia Mourali, Montserrat Ontiveros, Andrei Georghe, Neena Gupta, Hülya Uğur Tanrıöver, Fiona Coyne, Goedele Liekens, Laurence Boccolini, and Trine Gregorius went to the BBC Studio for instruction and training purpose (meeting the UK production team and Anne Robinson) to replicate the presenting style.
However, the format distributor BBC Worldwide changed the rules and this is not required anymore. As a result, some international hosts are nicer and more relaxed to the contestants. This has changed the whole program style compared with the original BBC series. The first notable example of this change was seen during George Gray's tenure as host in the 2002–03 syndicated version of the American edition; other times where this has happened were in France (2014–15), Turkey (2015, 2019), Finland (2017–18), Cyprus (2017–21), the Netherlands (2019–20), Greece (2019–), the United States (2020–), Australia (2021–22), and the United Kingdom (2021–).
The new Dutch host Bridget Maasland is also the first host worldwide not to wear black clothing on every episode. Although she does wear dark and black suits on about half of the shows, she often wears bright colored outfits in the other episodes. Her style of hosting resembles the style Anne Robinson adapted in the later UK shows, asking contestants more about their private lives, let them sing and dance during the voting and chit chat about more than just the mistakes made.
The hosting attitude of Jane Lynch who hosted the American edition's 2020 revival was more so that of sarcasm, and snarky - reminiscent of her noted Sue Sylvester character from Glee.
In the second syndicated version of the American version, after the second to last round, the last two contestants do not face the clock and the money tree. Instead, the remaining two contestants go straight into the head-to-head round. In the event the Strongest Link is voted off, the Second-Strongest Link makes the decision as to who goes first.
Unlike the original version, the top prize money available increases after each round. The top prize money starts at $25,000 in round 1 and increases by $25,000 per round until round 4. The top prize money in rounds 5 and 6 is set at $250,000 and $500,000, respectively.
A minor addition to the game is that of a buzzer added to each contestant's podium. This is used both to bank money (with contestants not only having to say the word "bank" before being asked the question but must also press the buzzer), as well as to reveal the contestant's vote.
Some non-gameplay variations were also adapted to the revived series: the contestants no longer handwrite their votes, rather they vote via a touch screen panel, tapping the button of the player they wish to vote off. This screen is also used to present visual information for visual questions - where the host will ask the contestants to identify items that appear on the screen. Additionally, the host will discuss the contestants' mistakes before the vote reveals - with the weakest link being eliminated immediately after the vote reveal. Like season 2 of the syndicated version, once only two contestants remain the game goes straight to the head-to-head round.
Changes from this version were featured in the 2021 Australian version - with the top prize being $250,000 and the prize increases for each round being as follows ($10,000, $15,000, $20,000, $30,000, $75,000, $100,000).
The latest French version (aired from 2014 to 2015) also does not use the clock and money tree for the final round, and in the penultimate round is the 3-player triple stake round for €15,000 and lasts 90 seconds.
In the Dutch version that started in May 2019, just like on the latest French version, round 8 was cut from the format after they aired the show for two weeks. Instead, in round 7, the money triples, and one last player is eliminated after that round. Making the top prize money no longer €10,000, but €9,000. After that, the remaining two contestants go straight into the head-to-head round. However, in the 2nd series, the number of contestants dropped to 7. The top prize money decreased to €8,000, and the 90-second round returned.
The format is currently distributed by BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC, following their merger with BBC Worldwide and also is produced by different production companies. Australia was the 1st country to adapt the format; not all the international versions share the same title as UK.
As with the original British version, all of the hosts wear black clothing (or sometimes dark colours with black). Most versions also have disciplinarian female hosts, again similar to the British original—with exceptions being Fausto Silva (Brazil), Tasos Tryfonos (Cyprus and Greece), Julien Courbet (France), Riku Nieminen (Finland), Nikolai Fomenko (Russia), Eamon Dunphy (Ireland), Edu Manzano, Allan K. (both Philippines), Shirō Itō (Japan), Pedro Granger (Portugal), Enrico Papi (Italy), Tseng Yang Qing (Taiwan), Baybars Altuntaş (Turkey), George Gray (United States) and Romesh Ranganathan (United Kingdom). Gray, Courbet and Ranganathan are comedians, and those versions were designed to play off comedy.
In Croatia, in May 2010, the quiz reached its 1,008th episode, and with the British original is the only version to have reached as many episodes.
Currently airing No longer airing Unsold pilot Future version
|Country||Local title||Host||TV station||Top prize||Catchphrase||Catchphrase Translation||First episode||Last episode|
|Arab world||الحلقة الأضعف
|Rita Khoury||Future Television||$16,000||أنت الحلقة الأضعف ، الله معك||You are the Weakest Link. God is with you.||14 October 2001||April 2003|
|Australia||Weakest Link||Cornelia Frances||Seven Network||$100,000||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||5 February 2001||22 April 2002|
|Magda Szubanski||Nine Network||$250,000||25 May 2021||1 February 2022|
|Azerbaijan||Zəif bənd||Kamila Babayeva||Lider TV||45,000,000m (2004–05)
|Ən zəif bənd sizsiniz.Xudahafiz!||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||May 2004||April 2007|
|Solmaz Süleymanlı||9,000₼||3 March 2012||2014|
|De zwakste schakel||Goedele Liekens||VTM||fr. 2,000,000||Jij bent de zwakste schakel. Salut!||You are the weakest link. Goodbye!||29 August 2001||December 2001|
|Brazil||Ponto fraco||Fausto Silva||TV Globo||R$1,000,000||2001 (Pilots rejected by BBC)|
|Chile||El rival más débil||Catalina Pulido||Canal 13||$40,000,000||Tú eres el rival más débil. ¡Adiós!||You are the weakest rival. Goodbye!||31 March 2004||August 2004|
Tài ruò liú qiáng·zhìzhě wéi wáng
|Chen Luyu||Syndicated||¥200,000||你被淘汰啦，再见!||You are eliminated, goodbye!||9 February 2002||2004|
Zhìzhě wéi wáng
|Shen Bing||Nanjing TV|
|Croatia||Najslabija karika||Nina Violić||HRT 1||kn 90,000||Vi ste najslabija karika. Doviđenja!||You are the weakest link. Goodbye!||26 April 2004||31 May 2010|
|Daniela Trbović||Vi ste najslabija karika. Zbogom!|
|Cyprus||Ο Πιο Αδύναμος Κρίκος
O Pio Adynamos Krikos
|Tasos Tryfonos||RIK 1||€5,000||Είστε ο πιο αδύναμος κρίκος, Λυπάμαι πολύ!||You are the Weakest Link! and I'm sorry for you!||18 September 2017||6 March 2021|
|Czech Republic||Nejslabší! Máte padáka!||Zuzana Slavíková||TV Nova||Kč 1,000,000||Jste Nejslabší, a máte padáka!||You are the weakest, and you're fired!||15 February 2002||1 July 2004|
|Denmark||Det svageste led||Trine Gregorius||DR1||kr. 200,000||Du er det svageste led, farvel!||You are the weakest link, goodbye!||2001||2003|
|Estonia||Nõrgim lüli||Tuuli Roosma||Kanal 2||kr 80,000||Sina oled nõrgim lüli, head aega!||You are the Weakest Link, goodbye!||5 September 2004||18 July 2005|
|Finland||Heikoin lenkki||Kirsi Salo||MTV3||€15,000
|Sinä olet heikoin lenkki, hyvästi!||You are the weakest link, goodbye!||6 September 2002||18 February 2005|
|Riku Nieminen||Nelonen||€20,000||20 March 2017||21 May 2018|
|France||Le maillon faible||Laurence Boccolini||TF1||F 150,000 (2001)
|Vous êtes le maillon faible, au revoir!||You are the weak link, goodbye!||9 July 2001||12 August 2007|
|Julien Courbet||D8||€45,000||8 September 2014||22 July 2015|
|Nino Burduli||Rustavi 2||₾8,000||თქვენ სუსტი რგოლი ხართ, და ამიტომ ტოვებთ პროექტს!||You are the Weakest Link, that why you are leaving now!||17 January 2005||2005|
|Germany||Der Schwächste fliegt!||Sonja Zietlow||RTL Television||DM50,000 (2001)||Du bist der Schwächste, du fliegst, und tschüss!||You are the weakest, you're kicked off, and goodbye!||19 March 2001||23 February 2002|
|Greece||Ο Πιο Αδύναμος Κρίκος
O Pio Adynamos Krikos
|Elena Akrita||MEGA||₯5,000,000||Είστε ο πιο αδύναμος κρίκος, Λυπάμαι πολύ!||You are the weakest link. I'm sorry for you!||27 October 2001||15 February 2003|
|Tasos Tryfonos||Skai TV||€10,000||21 September 2019||24 July 2022|
|ERT1||12 September 2022|
Jat1 bat1 OUT siu1
|Carol Cheng||TVB Jade||HK$3,000,000||你係眾望所歸，無得留低，你要一筆OUT消, Goodbye!||You had been eliminated and leave as expected. You are the Weakest Link, Goodbye!||20 August 2001||18 January 2002|
|Hungary||A leggyengébb láncszem||Krisztina Máté||TV2||Ft 3,000,000||Ön a leggyengébb láncszem, viszlát!||You are the weakest link, goodbye!||12 August 2001||2002|
|Nincs kegyelem||Ft 6,000,000|
|India||Kamzor Kadii Kaun||Neena Gupta||Star Plus||Rs. 2,500,000||Aap is round ke kamzor kadii hain. Aap jaa sakte hain. Namaste!||You are the weakest link in this round, you can leave now, goodbye!||25 December 2001||21 May 2002|
|Ireland||Weakest Link||Eamon Dunphy||TV3||€10,000||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||17 September 2001||2002|
|Pnina Dvorin||Channel 10||₪100,000||!אתה החוליה החלשה, שלום||You are the weakest link, goodbye!||2002||2004|
|Italy||Anello debole||Enrico Papi||Italia 1||€15,000||Lei è l'Anello Debole, se ne vada!||You are the weakest link, you are gone!||29 October 2001||17 November 2001|
Uikesutorinku: Hitori-gachi no Hosoku
|Shirō Itō||Fuji Television||¥16,000,000||ウィーケストリンクと決定しました。__君、退場!||You have been voted as the Weakest Link. __, Leave!||8 April 2002||16 September 2002|
|Mexico||El rival más débil||Montserrat Ontiveros||Azteca Trece||$200,000||Tú eres el rival más débil. ¡Adiós!||You are the weakest rival. Goodbye!||2 August 2003||October 2009|
|Lolita Cortés||Tú eres el rival más débil, te vas.||You are the weakest rival. You Leave!||27 July 2013||27 December 2014|
|Netherlands||De zwakste schakel||Chazia Mourali||RTL 4||€10,000||Je bent de zwakste schakel, tot ziens!||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||6 May 2001||28 August 2004|
|Bridget Maasland||€10,000 (2019)
|Je bent de zwakste schakel, dag!||You are the Weakest Link. Bye!||6 May 2019||March 2020|
|New Zealand||Weakest Link||Louise Wallace||TVNZ 1||$20,000||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||17 July 2001||March 2002|
|North Macedonia||Најслаба алка
|Zivkica Kalenikova||Alfa TV||ден 320,000||Вие сте Најслабата алка, збогум!||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||3 May 2010||July 2011|
|Norway||Det svakeste ledd||Anne Grosvold||NRK1||kr. 200,000||Du er det svakeste ledd, adjø!||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||30 August 2004||6 December 2004|
|Philippines||Weakest Link||Edu Manzano||IBC||₱1,000,000||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||15 October 2001||October 2002|
|Poland||Najsłabsze ogniwo||Kazimiera Szczuka||TVN||zł27,000||Jesteś najsłabszym ogniwem, do widzenia!||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||1 March 2004||22 December 2005|
|Portugal||O elo mais fraco||Julia Pinheiro||RTP1||€10,000||Você é o elo mais fraco, adeus!||You are the Weakest Link, goodbye!||11 June 2002||2003|
|Pedro Granger||19 September 2011||25 May 2012|
|Romania||Lanțul slăbiciunilor||Andrei Gheorghe||Pro TV||L500,000,000||Ești veriga cea mai slabă din lanțul slăbiciunilor. La revedere, Drum bun!||You are the weakest link in Chain of Weakness. Goodbye and have a nice day!||13 October 2001||2002|
Leonid Yakubovich (25 December 2002) 
|ORT/Channel One||₽300,000 (25 September – 30 October 2001)
₽400,000 (1 November 2001 – October 2004)
₽350,000 (October 2004 – 2 July 2005)
₽1,000,000 (celebrity editions, 2001–2004)
|Вы самое слабое звено, прощайте!||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||25 September 2001||2 July 2005|
|Nikolai Fomenko||Channel 5||₽350,000||2 December 2007||28 December 2008|
|Mariya Kiselyova||Mir||₽320,000 (14 February – 5 November 2020)
₽400,000 (13 November 2020 – 13 January 2023)
|14 February 2020||13 January 2023|
|Serbia||Najslabija karika||Sandra Lalatović||BKTV||din 5,000,000||Vi ste najslabija karika. Doviđenja!||You are the weakest link. Goodbye!||September 2003||April 2006|
|Nikola Kojo||Prva TV||21 March 2023||TBA|
|Yvette Cui (Cui Lixin)||Mediacorp Channel 8||S$100,000||你是最弱一環,再見!||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||19 May 2002||2003|
|Weakest Link||Asha Gill||Mediacorp Channel 5||S$1,000,000||You have been voted the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||27 October 2002||2003|
|Slovenia||Najšibkejši člen||Violeta Tomič||SLO 1||SIT 2,400,000||Vi ste Najšibkejši člen! Adijo!||You are the Weakest Link, Goodbye!||3 October 2003||25 November 2005|
|South Africa||Weakest Link||Fiona Coyne||SABC3||R 50,000 (2003–04)||You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||3 September 2003||27 October 2007|
|R 100,000 (2005–07)|
|Spain||El rival más débil||Nuria González||TVE1||€7,200||Eres el rival más débil, ¡adiós!||You are the weakest rival, goodbye!||15 May 2002||1 October 2004|
|Sweden||Svagaste länken||Kajsa Ingemarsson||Sjuan||kr 100,000||Du är den svagaste länken, hejdå!||You are the weakest link. Goodbye!||31 October 2011||2012|
|Taiwan||Weakest Link 智者生存
Weakest Link zhizhe shengcun
|Belle Yu||STAR Chinese Channel||NT$320,000||你是本回合被淘汰的參賽者, goodbye!||You are person eliminated at this round, goodbye!||22 October 2001||11 February 2002|
|Tseng Yang Qing||第_回合被淘汰的是_,再見!|
|Thailand||Weakest Link กำจัดจุดอ่อน
Weakest Link Kamchat Chut On
|Kritika Kongsompong||ThaiTV 3||฿1,000,000||คุณคือจุดอ่อนของทีม เชิญค่ะ||You are the weakest link of the team. Leave!||7 February 2002||26 December 2002|
|Turkey||En zayıf halka||Hülya Uğur Tanrıöver||Show TV||TL 50,000,000,000
|En zayıf halka siz oldunuz, güle güle!||You are the weakest link, goodbye!||9 September 2001||14 June 2002|
|Baybars Altuntaş||TV8||₺20,000||21 September 2015||15 November 2015|
|İpek Altınbaşak-Farina||ATV||₺80,000||24 July 2019||21 September 2019|
|United Kingdom||The Weakest Link||Anne Robinson||BBC Two (Daytime)
BBC One (Primetime)
|You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!||14 August 2000||31 March 2012|
|BBC Two||£15,000||17 November 2017|
|Romesh Ranganathan||BBC One||£50,000||18 December 2021|
|BBC Two||£10,000||18 November 2022|
|United States||Weakest Link||Anne Robinson||NBC||$1,000,000||16 April 2001||14 July 2002|
|George Gray||Syndicated||$75,000||7 January 2002||20 May 2003|
|Jane Lynch||NBC||$1,000,000||29 September 2020|
- ^ "Millionaire dominates global TV". BBC News. 12 April 2005. Archived from the original on 13 April 2005. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- ^ "Weakest Link - The Story So Far (2006)" – via www.youtube.com.
- ^ "Jane Lynch Says Hosting 'Weakest Link' Has Her Channeling 'Glee' Role". Entertainment Tonight.
- ^ "Weakest Link back after 19 years with new host Magda Szubanski". au.lifestyle.yahoo.com. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
- ^ "Video". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
- ^ Due to Daniela having surgery in March 2010, HRT asked Mirko to temporary host the show until Daniela recovers.
- ^ a b c d e Πότε κάνει πρεμιέρα "Ο πιο αδύναμος κρίκος" του ΡΙΚ [When does RIK's "Weakest Link" premiere?]. offsite.com.cy (in Greek). 7 September 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
- ^ Nincs kegyelem was the alternative name of this show, but both show used same identity A leggyengébb láncszem.
- ^ A special Christmas and New Year celebrity edition.
- ^ "Najslabija karika". prva.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved 25 January 2023.
- ^ "Violeta Tomič | predstave". www.violetatomic.si.
- ^ Original production was Kanal D but later decided to drop the programme; TV8 then took over.
- ^ "En Zayıf Halka 1. Bölüm Fragmanı". 18 July 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
- ^ 8/7 players version (2000–2001)
- ^ Westbrook, Caroline (19 July 2017). "The Weakest Link is coming back to TV - complete with Anne Robinson". Metro. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
- ^ "Romesh Ranganathan 'to replace Anne Robinson as host of The Weakest Link reboot'". Metro. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
- ^ Adalian, Josef (8 July 2020). "Jane Lynch Is Hosting a Weakest Link Revival for NBC". Vulture.