The Weakest Link
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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 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 then 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.
The format has been licensed across the world, with many countries producing their own series of the programme and is the 2nd most popular international franchise, behind only the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? franchise, which also originated in the UK.
A group of nine (or ranging from five to ten, varying among versions) contestants work as a team to try and win as much money as possible. If a person answers the question correctly, the next stage in the chain is reached. If a person answers the question wrong, the money is lost and the chain starts again. A player can "bank" before their question to save the money, but the chain must be started again. If there are nine correct answers in a row without anyone banking, the maximum money amount is added to the jackpot and the round stops. The time allowed for each round decreases as the game goes on. In some versions, if the contestant takes too long to think, the host may give the answer, and it will be considered incorrect. At the end of each round, the contestants must vote for who they thought was the "Weakest Link" in the round that just occurred, and the person with the most votes is eliminated. If the vote comes to a tie, the Strongest Link can decide which of the tied players should leave. The Strongest Link is the person who had the most correct answers or banked the most money. The host, Anne Robinson in the original UK version, says "(name), you are the Weakest Link, goodbye". The contestant then takes the walk of shame and is then interviewed outside the game. The person who was the strongest link in the last round goes first. If the strongest link got voted off, the second-strongest player starts. In the UK version, the final round has a 90-second triple stake round with no voting but money is still to be earned. After the final round, a head-to-head contest is played, with five questions asked to each player in turn. If there is a draw, the game continues to sudden death. The loser goes home with nothing.
Strategy for banking money
In a New Scientist blog article, Erica Klarreich argues that there are only two sensible strategies in The Weakest Link (the U.S. edition) when it comes to banking money. Either players should choose to bank after every correct answer, or after six straight correct answers to maximize the pot. The correct strategy to take will depend upon the skill at answering questions of the members of the team. For all but the weakest teams, the optimal strategy is to raise the pot six straight times without banking. But since this happens so seldom on the show, Klarreich argues, the dominant strategy will usually be instead to bank after every question. The common practice of banking after just three questions would only outperform the strategy of banking after every question if a team maintained a success rate of over 67%.
Game rule and format variations
Compare with the original format the others have some changes which not same as the original.
In the UK original series the host (Anne Robinson) acted cold, harsh and mean to the contestants. Some international hosts 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. Notable examples are France (2014-2015), Turkey (2015), Finland (2017-2019), Cyprus (2017) and Netherlands (2019).
US syndicated version
In the 2nd syndicated version of the American version, after the 2nd last round, the last 2 contestants do not face the clock and the money tree. Instead, the remaining 2 contestants go straight into the head-to-head round.
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.
The format is distributed by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, and also produce by different production company. 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), Julien Courbet (2014 France), Riku Nieminen (Finland), Nikolai Fomenko (Russia), Eamon Dunphy (Ireland), Edu Manzano, Allan K. (both Philippines), Shiro Ito (Japan), Pedro Granger (Portugal), Enrico Papi (Italy), Tseng Yang Qing (Taiwan), Baybars Altuntaş (Turkey) and George Gray (United States). Gray and Courbet are comedians, and those versions were designed to play off comedy.
In Croatia, in May 2010 the quiz reached its 1008th episode, and with the British original, is the only version to have reached as many episodes.
Legend:Currently airing No longer airing Unsold pilot Future version
|Country||Name||Host||TV station||Top prize||Catchphrase||First episode||Last episode|
|Arab World||الحلقة الأضعف
|Rita Khoury||Future Television||US$16,000||أنت الحلقة الأضعف ، الله معك||2001||2003|
|Australia||Weakest Link||Cornelia Frances||Seven Network||AU$100,000||You Are the Weakest Link, Goodbye||February 2001||April 2002|
|Azerbaijan||Zəif bənd||Kamila Babayeva||Lider TV||AZM45,000,000
|Ən zəif bənd sizsiniz, xudahafiz!||2004||2006|
|De zwakste schakel||Goedele Liekens||VTM||2,000,000BEF||Jij bent de zwakste schakel. Salut!||2001||2002|
|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||CL$40,000,000||Eres El Rival Más Debil, adios||2004|
Tài ruò liú qiáng·zhìzhě wéi wáng
|Chen Luyu||Nanjing TV||CN¥200,000||你被淘汰啦，再见!||2002||2004|
Zhìzhě wéi wáng
|Croatia||Najslabija karika||Nina Violić||HRT 1||90,000 kn||Vi ste najslabija karika. Zbogom||2004||2010|
|Cyprus||Ο Πιο Αδύναμος Κρίκος
O Pio Adynamos Krikos
|Tasos Tryfonos||RIK 1||€5,000||Είστε ο πιο αδύναμος κρίκος, Λυπάμαι πολύ||18 September 2017|
|Czech Republic||Nejslabší! Máte padáka!||Zuzana Slavíková||TV Nova||1,000,000 Kč||Jste Nejslabší, a máte pad' áka!||1 October 2002||2004|
|Denmark||Det svageste led||Trine Gregorius||DR1||DKK 200,000||Du er det svageste led, farvel||2001||2002|
|Estonia||Nõrgim lüli||Tuuli Roosma||Kanal 2||EEK 500,000||2004|
|Finland||Heikoin lenkki||Kirsi Salo||MTV3||€16,000
|Sinä olet heikoin lenkki - hyvästi!||6 September 2002||18 February 2005|
|Riku Nieminen||Nelonen||€20,000||20 March 2017||28 June 2019|
|France||Le maillon faible||Laurence Boccolini||TF1||150,000₣
|Vous êtes le maillon faible, au revoir||9 July 2001||12 August 2007|
|Julien Courbet||D8||€45,000||8 September 2014||22 July 2015|
|Nino Burduli||Rustavi 2||ლ10,000||2005|
|Germany||Der Schwächste fliegt!||Sonja Zietlow||RTL Television||DM50,000||Du bist der Schwächste du fliegst, und tschüss||19 March 2001||March 2002|
|Greece||Ο Πιο Αδύναμος Κρίκος
O Pio Adynamos Krikos
|Elena Akrita||MEGA||₯5,000,000||Είστε ο πιο αδύναμος κρίκος,Λυπάμαι πολύ||2001||2003|
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!||20 August 2001||18 January 2002|
|Hungary||A leggyengébb láncszem||Krisztina Máté||TV2||3,000,000 Ft||Ön a leggyengébb láncszem, viszlát||2001||2004|
|Nincs kegyelem||6,000,000 Ft|
|India||Kamzor Kadii Kaun||Neena Gupta||Star Plus||Rs. 2,500,000||Kamzor Kadii Ab aap jaa Sakte hai, Namaste||2002||2003|
|Ireland||Weakest Link||Eamon Dunphy||TV3||€10,000||You Are the Weakest Link, Goodbye||2001||2002|
|Pnina Dvorin||Channel 10||₪100,000||אתה החוליה החלשה ביותר, שלום||2002||2004|
|Italy||Anello debole||Enrico Papi||Italia 1||€15,000||Lei è l'Anello Debole, se ne vada!||29 October 2001||17 November 2001|
Uikesutorinku: Hitori-gachi no Hosoku
|Shiro Ito||Fuji Television||JP¥16,000,000||ウィーケストリンクと決定しました。_ _君、退場!||16 April 2002||16 September 2002|
|Živkica Gjurčinovska||Alfa TV||420,000 MKD||2010||2011|
|Malaysia||Weakest Link||Sekilara Kiramila||RTM||RM80,000||2003||2009|
|Mexico||El rival más debil||Montserrat Ontiveros||Azteca Trece||MX$200,000||Eres El Rival Más Debil, Adiós||2 August 2003||October 2009|
|Lolita Cortés||Eres El Rival Más Debil, Te Vas||27 July 2013||7 September 2013|
|26 May 2014||27 December 2014|
|Moldova||Veriga slaba||Andrei Gheorghe||Kanal 1||MDL1,000,000||2002||2009|
|Netherlands||De zwakste schakel||Chazia Mourali||RTL 4||€10,000||Je bent de zwakste schakel, tot ziens||6 May 2001||28 August 2004|
|Bridget Maasland||€10,000||Je bent de zwakste schakel, dag!||6 May 2019|
|New Zealand||Weakest Link||Louise Wallace||TVNZ 1||NZ$20,000||You Are the Weakest Link, Goodbye||July 2001||March 2002|
|Norway||Det svakeste ledd||Anne Grosvold||NRK||NOK 200,000||Du et det svageste led, farvel||2004|
|Philippines||Weakest Link||Edu Manzano||IBC||₱1,000,000||You are the Weakest Link, Goodbye||2001||2002|
|Poland||Najsłabsze ogniwo||Kazimiera Szczuka||TVN||27,000 zł||Jesteś Najsłabszym Ogniwem, Do widzenia||1 March 2004||26 January 2006|
|Portugal||O elo mais fraco||Julia Pinheiro||RTP1||€10,000||Você é o elo mais fraco, Adeus!||2002||2003|
|Romania||Lanţul slăbiciunilor||Andrei Gheorghe||Pro TV||50,000 lei||Eşti veriga cea mai lanţul slăbiciunilor. La revedere, Drum bun!||2001|
Leonid Yakubovich (25 December 2002) 
|ORT/Channel One||₽300,000 (from 25 September until 30 October 2001)
₽400,000 (from 1 November 2001 until October 2004)
₽350,000 (from October 2004 until 2 July 2005)
₽1,000,000 (celebrity editions, 2001–2004)
|Вы самое слабое звено, прощайте||25 September 2001||2 July 2005|
|Nikolai Fomenko||Channel 5||₽350,000||2 December 2007||28 December 2008|
|Serbia||Najslabija karika||Sandra Lalatović||BKTV||5,000,000 RSD||Vi ste najslabija karika. Doviđenja.||2002||2006|
|Yvette Cui (Cui Lixin)||Mediacorp Channel 8||S$100,000||你是最弱一環,再見!||2002||2003|
|Weakest Link||Asha Gill||Mediacorp Channel 5||S$1,000,000||You Are the Weakest Link, Goodbye|
|Slovenia||Najšibkejši člen||Violeta Tomič||SLO 1||2,400,000 SIT (€10,000)||2003||2006|
|South Africa||Weakest Link||Fiona Coyne||SABC3||R50,000||You Are the Weakest Link, Goodbye||3 September 2003||2008|
|Spain||El rival más débil||Nuria González||TVE1||€7,200||Eres El Rival Más Debil, adios||2002||2004|
|Sweden||Svagaste länken||Kajsa Ingemarsson||Sjuan||SEK 100,000||Du är den svagaste länken, Hejdå||2011||2013|
|Taiwan||Weakest Link 智者生存
Weakest Link zhizhe shengcun
|Belle Yu||STAR Chinese Channel||NT$400,000||2001||2003|
|Tseng Yang Qing|
|Thailand||Weakest Link กำจัดจุดอ่อน
Weakest Link Kamchat Chut On
|Krittika Kongsompong||ThaiTV 3||฿1,000,000||คุณคือจุดอ่อนของทีม เชิญค่ะ||2002||2003|
|Turkey||En zayıf halka||Hülya Uğur Tanrıöver||Show TV||100,000,000,000 old TL||En zayıf halka siz oldunuz, Güle güle!||2001||2002|
|Baybars Altuntaş||TV8||₺54,000||21 September 2015||15 November 2015|
|United Kingdom||The Weakest Link||Anne Robinson||BBC||£10,000 (Daytime)
|You Are the Weakest Link, Goodbye||14 August 2000||31 March 2012|
|£15,000||17 November 2017|
|United States||Weakest Link||Anne Robinson||NBC||US$1,000,000||You Are the Weakest Link, Goodbye||16 April 2001||14 July 2002|
|George Gray||Syndicated||US$75,000||7 January 2002||20 May 2003|
- "Millionaire dominates global TV". BBC News. 12 April 2005. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- Klarreich, Erica (16 January 2002). "Strongest strategy for The Weakest Link revealed". New Scientist. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- Due to Daniela having a surgery at 2010, HRT asked Mirko to temporary host the show until Daniela recover.
- Nincs kegyelem was the alternative name of this show, but recently used original name (A leggyengébb láncszem).
- A special Christmas and New Year celebrity edition.
- Original production was Kanal D, but later they decide to reject and TV8 was takeover.
- 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.