Date: 12th February 2001

Robinson Deemed Strongest For Weakest

NBC is rushing to get a 13-week run of the British hit quiz show The Weakest Link on the air by April, the network indicated on Friday. It said that it had selected Anne Robinson, the sharp-tongued host of the British series, to host the U.S. version as well, but acknowledged that it was still considering turning over hosting duties for a daily syndicated version to Survivor winner Richard Hatch.

According to NBC West Coast President Scott Sassa, Robinson was selected because her no-nonsense style is largely credited for the show's success in Britain. As for her accent, Sassa told today's (Monday) Wall Street Journal, it "works to the benefit of the show's sarcastic nature. There's an authenticity to her. She's not just reading lines." Despite his reputation for conniving earned on the original Survivor, Hatch, production executives concluded, was "too nice" in his Link audition. Mark Palmer, a BBC production manager, told the WSJ: "Even when he wanted to be nasty he was tempted to say 'please' and 'thank you' because that's the way American blokes are brought up."

Source: Studio Briefing