Weakest Link (Australian game show)

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The Weakest Link
GenreGame show
Created byFintan Coyle
Cathy Dunning
Based onThe Weakest Link
Presented byCornelia Frances (2001–02)
Magda Szubanski (2021)
Narrated byMarcus Irvine (2001–02)
ComposerPaul Farrer
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons
  • 2 (Seven Network, 2001–02)
  • 1 (Nine Network, 2021)
No. of episodes
  • approx. 120 (Seven Network)
  • 10 (Nine Network)
Production
Production locationsMelbourne, Victoria
Running time60 minutes
Production companies
Release
Original network
Picture formatPAL
HDTV 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release
  • Original:
  • 5 February 2001 (2001-02-05) – 22 April 2002 (2002-04-22)
  • Revival:
  • 25 May 2021 (2021-05-25) – present

The Weakest Link is an Australian game show based on the UK format, which aired from 5 February 2001 until 22 April 2002 and was originally broadcast on the Seven Network. Presented by Cornelia Frances, the show featured nine contestants competing for a potential prize of $100,000. Airing twice weekly in primetime, on Mondays and Thursdays (in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, later extended to nationwide following the conclusion of the 2001 AFL season) or Fridays (in Sydney and Brisbane),[1] it received modest ratings until its cancellation in April 2002. The show was produced in the Seven Network's South Melbourne headquarters.

In March 2021, a revival of the show with actress Magda Szubanski as host was announced for the Nine Network.[2][3] It was originally scheduled to begin airing from 4 May 2021,[4] however it was delayed by three weeks due to a tight production schedule.[5][6]

Format[edit]

2001–02[edit]

The format of the Seven Network iteration was identical to that of the British version apart from some slight time differences on rounds. The first round lasted for 2 minutes and 30 seconds as opposed to 3 minutes on the British version, and each round thereafter was reduced by 10 seconds (meaning a time limit of 1 minute and 20 seconds for the triple stakes round). As with the British version, any money banked in round eight was trebled (e.g. if the contestants bank $1,000 then $3,000 is added to the final total). The money tree was as follows:

Question Prize
9 $10,000
8 $8,000
7 $6,000
6 $4,500
5 $3,000
4 $2,000
3 $1,000
2 $500
1 $200

The voice-over was Marcus Irvine, while the adjudicator and question researcher was Alan Mason, the contestant revealed as The Mole in 2000.[7]

The money tree is the same figures as in the British version, but ten times larger, and in Australian dollars rather than pound sterling.

2021–present[edit]

The format of the Nine Network iteration saw some major changes to the format; similar to the 2020 US revival, eight contestants (as opposed to nine on the original Seven Network iteration) begin the game, and play begins with the player in the first position (as opposed to the player whose name is first alphabetically). The top prize increases in each round, making for a potential top prize of A$250,000. Additionally, the contestants are interrogated about their roundly performances before the revealing of votes, as opposed to afterwards. As is convention, in the event of a tie, the strongest link casts the deciding vote. After round six, the game moves straight to the final round; if the strongest link in the preceding round had been voted off, the second-strongest link decides who receives the first question.

Question Number Prize
1 2 3 4 5 6
8 $10,000 $15,000 $20,000 $30,000 $75,000 $100,000
7 $5,000 $7,500 $10,000 $15,000 $50,000 $75,000
6 $3,000 $5,000 $7,500 $10,000 $25,000 $50,000
5 $1,500 $3,000 $5,000 $7,500 $15,000 $25,000
4 $750 $1,500 $2,500 $5,000 $7,500 $10,000
3 $500 $1,000 $1,500 $2,500 $5,000
2 $250 $500 $750 $1,000 $1,500 $2,500
1 $100 $200 $250 $500 $750 $1,000

Additionally, several minor additions to the game were introduced:

  • A buzzer was added to each contestant's podium. It is used both to bank money (contestants not only have 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 at the end of each round.
  • A touch screen was also added to each contestant's podium. It is used to present visual information for visual questions – where the host asks the contestants to identify items that appear on the screen – as well as to cast their vote for the weakest link at the end of each round.

Special Editions[edit]

The show also featured several special editions throughout its run.

Seven Network iteration (2001–02)[edit]

Nine Network iteration (2021–present)[edit]

  • The first episode of Nine's iteration saw the team bank a grand prize of $14,300 – at the time the lowest for a regular episode of the show across both versions (despite the potential for a higher prize on Nine’s version).
  • A special episode will feature the winners of eight previous episodes returning to compete against each other.

Notable contestants[edit]

Original series (Seven Network)[edit]


Reception[edit]

Nine’s iteration[edit]

The first episode of the Nine Network's iteration of the show scored a nationwide audience of 423,000.[9]

Awards[edit]

Logie Awards:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The bitch is back". The Sydney Morning Herald. 29 January 2001. Retrieved 3 March 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
  2. ^ "BBC Studios to produce Weakest Link for Australia's Channel Nine". Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  3. ^ "Weakest Link returns with new host Magda Szubanksi". Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  4. ^ Knox, David (24 April 2021). "Airdate: The Weakest Link". TV Tonight. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  5. ^ Knox, David (28 April 2021). "Nine delays The Weakest Link premiere". TV Tonight. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  6. ^ Knox, David (17 May 2021). "New date for The Weakest Link premiere". TV Tonight. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Weakest Link (Australia) - First Group With $10,000 Round". elissaeast. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2020 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ Bigbrotheroz (10 April 2020). "The Weakest Link - Housemates Revenge - 2001 (HD)". Retrieved 24 April 2020 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ Knox, David (26 May 2021). "Weakest Link debut battles Love on the Spectrum". TV Tonight. Retrieved 26 May 2021.

External links[edit]