|Anne Robinson (NBC)|
George Gray (Syndication)
|John Cramer (NBC)|
Lisa Friedman (Syndication)
Syndicated: 1/7/2002 - 5/20/2003
|The Gurin Company|
Announcer: Here are the 6/8 contestants who will take part in today/tonight's show. One of them will walk away with up to (insert cash total). The rest will leave with nothing, as round by round they are voted off as The Weakest Link!
Host: Welcome...to The Weakest Link! Any of the 6/8 people in the studio here today/tonight could win up to (insert cash total). They don't know each other, however; if they want the money, they'll have to work together as a team, but 5/7 will leave with nothing, as round by round we eliminate the player voted The Weakest Link! Let's meet the team!"
Eight contestants (six in the syndicated) compete to win a top amount by playing a quiz/elimination contest. At the end of each round, each player is voted off as The Weakest Link.
In each round, the team’s goal is to reach the target of the maximum value within the time limit. They do that by correctly answering a series of questions posed by the host. The players on the team played one at a time from left to right. In the first round, the player in the first position or an impaired player such as wheelchair bound (as opposed to the player whose name is first alphabetically in the original British version) went first; then after that, the "Strongest Link" (the player who answered the most right) from the previous round went first in the next round. Not only that, the time was reduced in each new round. Also in each round, there was a money chain; on the chain were ascending money amounts leading up to the target amount. So the fastest way to get to the target was to create a chain of a certain number of correct answers. As soon as a player missed a question, the chain was broken, and all the money from the chain was lost. However, at the beginning of each new turn, a player in control can bank the value of the previous question by saying the word "bank" before his/her question was asked; when that happened, that money was put into the bank, but the chain had to be reset.
The bank's target value was the maximum amount of money that a team could accumulate in any one round, and if a team reached the target and banked it while already having money in the bank (a rare occurrence), the bank would be augmented to the target value instead of having the target value added to the bank. The number of money amounts/consecutive correct answers needed was determined by how many players were originally on the team.
Teams tried to build up a total of up to $1,000,000.
Teams tried to build up a total of up to $75,000 in season one, and up to $100,000 in season two.
On NBC, the first round lasted for 2½ minutes (2:30), and decreased by 10 seconds for each new round.
In syndication, the first round lasted for 1¾ minutes (1:45), and decreased by 15 seconds for each new round.
Voting Off the Weakest LinkEdit
Any money that has been banked by the team when the time was up was carried over into the next round, giving the team a chance to add more to the bank. However, one player will not advance to the next round, for at the end of each round, all the players on the team written down their votes on their telestrators as to who they thought was the "Weakest Link". While they were writing, the announcer told the home viewers who was statistically the "Strongest Link/Strongest Player", and who was the "Weakest Link/Worst Player". Then the votes were revealed, and the player with the most votes was eliminated from the game. In case of a tie, the "Strongest Link" cast the deciding vote. In between the reveal & the elimination, the host would talk to some of the players & ask why he/she to vote off a particular player. After the elimination, the eliminated player would do a post-show commentary of what happened.
NOTE: Should the "Strongest Link" from the last round be voted off, then the 2nd strongest link started the next round.
In the NBC version as well as the first season of the syndicated version, when there were two players left, the final regular question round was the double round; for any money banked by the two players was then doubled and added to the pot. So the target for this round on NBC was $250,000, while the target for syndicated season one was $25,000. When the target was doubled to $25,000 in syndicated season two, the double round was removed, and after the vote off the remaining two players went straight into the final round.
In the final round, the two remaining players played a showdown for all the money in the bank. To start, the "Strongest Link" from the last round (or, in the second syndicated season, the second-strongest if that player had been voted off) decided if he/she should go first or let his/her opponent go first. Then the players took turns answering their own questions. Each player gets up to five questions (three in syndication), and the player with the most correct answers won the game. If there was a tie after everybody was asked all of their questions, the game shifted into a sudden death playoff. Questions will continue in pairs (they still alternated turns answering questions), and the one player who can manage to answer his/her question correctly when his/her opponent could not answer his/hers, won the game.
The winner of the game got to keep all the money in the bank, while the loser & 4 or 6 others would leave with nothing.
The highest amount won on the prime time version was $189,500, won on the Tournament of Losers special (this is also the highest amount of money ever won on The Weakest Link worldwide). The lowest won was $22,500, on the Fear Factor Champions special. The lowest amount won on the daytime version was $1,000, while the highest was $53,000.
The highest amount won on a Celebrity Edition of the show was when LeVar Burton won a "Star Trek Stars" edition with a pot of $167,500.
A board game based on the show was released by Hasbro in 2001 with host Anne Robinson on its cover. (NOTE: Over 2,300 questions are in this version of the game.)
Video games were released for the PS1 and PC hosted by Anne Robinson (who's also on it's cover) were released by Activision in 2001. (NOTE: Over an astounding 100,000 questions in this version of the game.)
A quiz book was released by Carlton in 2002.
Interactive games where you were allowed to play along with the show from NBC's and GSN's very own websites have been released.
Prior to the GSN Interactive, a mobile Interactive game was made to play along for people on the go, courtesy of Goldpocket iTV.
Games for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad entitled as Weakest Link & Friends were released by Ludia in 2012. (NOTE: The game does not feature any voices or appearances by Anne Robinson or George Gray.)
The following are a list of countries that did their versions of The Weakest Link:
Belgium (Dutch language only)
United Kingdom (country that originated the program)
In Popular CultureEdit
In an episode of MAD TV, Lorraine is on the show but it's actually called "The Missing Link", a parody of the name. The contestants that Lorraine are playing against are two monkeys, Professor MacFuzzy and Huckleberry. However, all three contestants do not get the answers right so they leave empty-handed. Lorraine, believe it or not, was the missing link. Anne Robinson made an appearance in this episode.
In another episode of MAD TV, there is another parody of the celebrity version of the Weakest Link. Anne Robinson did not make an appearance, someone played her.
Anne Robinson's Catchphrase "You Are The Weakest Link, Goodbye!" has made several appearances on TV shows and movies, such as Family Guy, Scary Movie 2 and How I Met Your Mother.
In the first season of the 2005 revival of Doctor Who, Rose Tyler appears on a futuristic version of "Link", hosted by "Anne Droid" (voiced by Robinson) where eliminated contestants were supposedly disintegrated, but in fact "teleported" elsewhere.
- Anne Robinson not only hosted the American version, she also hosted the original British version too.
- George Gray hosted the syndicated show in the beginning of 2002.
"Welcome...to The Weakest Link! Any of the (8/6) people in the studio here tonight/today could win up to ($1,000,000/$75,000/$100,000). They don't know each other; however, if they want to win that money, they'll have to work as a team, but (7/5) of them will leave with nothing, as round by round we eliminate the player voted The Weakest Link. Let's meet the team!"
"Now the rules, in each round the aim is to answer enough questions correctly to reach your ($125,000/$12,500/$25,000) target within the time limit. There are (8/6) of you, so the fastest way to reach that target is to create a chain of (8/6) correct answers. Get your question wrong, and you break the chain and lose all the money in the chain, but if you say the word 'BANK' before the question is asked, the money is safe; however, you'll start a brand new chain. Remember, at the end of the round only money that has been "BANKED" can be carried over to the next round. The first round lasts for 2½ minutes (or 2:00/1:45). The order you'll be playing in was randomly selected before the show. We'll start with the player in the first position...that's you, (insert contestant's name)."
"Let's play...The Weakest Link!"
"The first question is worth (insert money amount). Start the clock."
"Time's up. I cannot complete the question."
"Time's up. The correct answer is..."
"That is the correct answer, but you were out of time."
"And in that round you've banked (insert cash amount). That money will go thru to the next round, but one of you (most certainly) will not/won't!"
"Statistically, the weakest link was (insert contestant’s name), but it's votes that count!"
"Seven have made it this far but only one of them will win, find out who...when we return to...The Weakest Link!" - Anne Robinson
"Six players remain but any one of them will be voted off next, find out who...when we return to...The Weakest Link!" - Anne Robinson
"Welcome back...to The Weakest Link!" - Anne Robinson
"One of our players has reached their end. Find out who...when we return to...The Weakest Link!"
"Only two of these people will move on to the final round. One more player will take that walk of shame...when we return to...The Weakest Link!"
"It's time to vote off...The Weakest Link!"
"Voting over, time to reveal who you think is the Weakest Link."
"When the vote is tied...the strongest link has to cast the deciding vote... and in that last round, the strongest link was (insert contestant's name)."
"With (insert number) votes...You ARE the weakest link. Goodbye!"
"You ARE the Weakest Link. Goodbye!"
"Round (insert number), and so far you've banked (insert amount), there's (insert number) of you left. [Another] 10/15 seconds coming off the clock/time."
"We'll start with the strongest link from the last round. That's you, (insert name)."
"You've voted off the strongest link from the last round, so we'll have to start with the 2nd strongest link from the last round. That's you, (insert name)."
"Round 5/7, and so far you've banked (insert amount). (insert 2 names), it's just the 2 of you left and this time you'll have only 45/90 seconds, but whatever you bank in this round will be doubled and will added to your total to make up your grand prize money. $250,000/$25,000 is at stake right now."
"We'll double it and add it to the bank from the previous rounds which means you have a bank total today/tonight of (insert amount)."
"But only 1 of these 2 people will win that money; the other will leave with nothing. The final round will decide it all when we return to The Weakest Link."
"(insert 2 names), you made it into the final round where (insert amount) is up for grabs, but only 1 of you will be able to take that money home. You'll now be playing against each other head-to-head."
"I'll ask alternating questions best of 5." - Anne Robinson
"I'll ask alternating questions best of 3." - George Gray
"Whoever gets the most questions correctly, wins."
"If there's a tie after 3/5 questions, we'll go for a sudden death until we have a winner."
"(insert name), as the strongest link in the last round, you have the choice on who'll go first."
"That is the correct answer."
"No, the correct answer is (insert correct answer)."
"(insert name), you need to answer this question correctly to remain in the game." - Anne Robinson
"(insert name), if you answer this question correctly, you have won." - Anne Robinson
"(insert name), you need to get this correct; otherwise, (insert name) wins. - George Gray
"(insert name), if you get this right, you've won." - George Gray
"After (insert number) questions, your scores are tied."
"Let's play sudden death."
"That means (insert contestant's name) you are (tonight's/today's) strongest link and you go away with (insert cash amount) (for your charity). (Insert contestant's name), you leave with nothing/you will just go away."
Anne Robinson putdownsEdit
"Whose parachute sadly has failed to open?"
"Whose talents are better suited for silent film?"
"Who's the dark cloud with no silver lining?"
"Who's in need of mental floss?"
"Whose brain in that last round sadly expired?"
"Who's the rotten tooth that needs to be pulled?"
"Who is the alien from the planet incompetence?"
"Where does knowledge go to die?"
"Whose traffic light is permanently stuck on red?"
"Who's one fry short of a Happy Meal?"
"Who's one egg short of an omelet?"
"Who is as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike?"
"Who has a brain only a mother could love?"
"Who truly deserves the domain name, ignorant.com?"
"Whose IQ test has come back negative?"
"Whose brain is illegally parked?"
"Whose brain is dead, but their body doesn't know it?"
"If ignorance is bliss, who has landed in Heaven?"
"So you're a eunuch and a coward are you?"
"Banish the Buffoon!"
"Eject the Idiot!"
"I urge you, ditch the lean, keep the mean."
George Gray putdownsEdit
"Whose Brainwaves are waving Bye Bye?"
"Who is still waiting for some British Lady to ask them some questions?"
"Who appears to be hooked on something other than phonics?"
"Which one of you must have spent Spring Break in Puerto Estupido?"
"Who needs to take two smart pills and call me in the morning?"
"Who may not be a loser, but they sure play one on TV?"
"On this Rodeo Drive, who is the 99 cent store?"
"Whose keys to victory are locked in the car?"
"Which one of these brains would be turned down by an organ bank?"
"Whose mental elevator only goes down?"
"Whose mental bungee cord is about to snap?"
"Who's been stood up on their date with Victory?"
"Which of you takes a licking and keeps on sticking?"
"Which of you should sign up for the witness protection program?"
"Who's had a lot of nerve just showing up today?"
"Who won't be right back after this commercial message?"
"Who regrets wasting the gas to get here?"
"Whose rapper name would be Foolio?"
"Who's that big, nasty dead bug in your jacuzzi?"
Dirty Rotten Cheater - Uses the same format except this time, one player has all the answers given to him/her. The pilot, entitled Cheaters, used the Weakest Link set.
Based on the show of the same name in the United Kingdom by Fintan Coyle and Cathy Dunning
"Join us next time on The Weakest Link. Goodbye." Anne Robinson/George Gray
- ↑ Official website of the NBC interactive version of Weakest Link (Robinson era) courtesy of Spiderdance
Official website from the Anne Robinson era of The Weakest Link courtesy of the Internet Archive
Official website from the George Gray era of Weakest Link courtesy of the Internet Archive
Chris Lambert's Weakest Link Page
David's Weakest Link Page
Rules for the Weakest Link
Weakest Link Fan Site
The Weakest Link @ Tim's TV Showcase