“We respond to it Live”

When Nine rescheduled The Weakest Link from its original premiere date there were rumours the network was reacting to headlines around host Magda Szubanski’s tweets.

However Nine indicated the decision was due production schedules.

While the episodes are one hour on air, there is live scripting of punchlines from Szubanski to contestants, which has led to long shoots.

“There’s a whole lot of reasons that it’s long,” Szubanski tells TV Tonight. “They’ve got to get all the different angles on things, and then I do work with the writers. We work on what’s happening, and we respond to it Live.

“I have a conversation with people and we also need to be calculating how it’s all progressing: who’s the weakest link, who’s the strongest? So there’s quite a few factors in it.

“But I don’t know what a normal game show is like. This is not just a quiz show. There’s that banter and play with the audience as well.

“That’s very much coming off the back of the Jane Lynch (series in the USA). So we’ve very much modelled ours in that regard.

“I love it. I’m that person on my couch at home going, ‘Why don’t they know the answer to that one?’ But when you’re in there, it’s so different!”

The Weakest Link continues 9pm Tuesday on Nine.


  1. The third episode was better, but again, the best moments come when Magda is not scripted. Also, we saw a bit of banter between the contestants which was fun.

    I am a little disappointed that in three episodes, the most able contestant has not made the final. I understand this is part of the tactics, but I think I really need to see a tweak to the rules so that it is not so easy to eliminate the person who should be the true winner. Russ was shafted this week.

  2. thedirtydigger

    Wowser that’s one studio audience I’d hate to be stuck in …wonder if they locks the doors for hours to stop people leaving ? And I thought Ninja Warrior or The Voice was the mammoth record session !
    And really I think the show needs a host who can come up with the zingers on the spot, without relying on a roomful of writers ( is that a ” battery” of writers by the way ?) to come up with a suitable retort for the host … anyway I’ll bet there’s no second season here…

      • thedirtydigger

        Oh, OK I have only caught snippets of it as Magda doesn’t do it for me … whatever the situation I don’t think Magda helped the show by revealing all this. Sounds like they are lucky to shoot one episode per day. As for the record being long because they have to get ” the different angles on things ” surely this is a multi camera studio record ?

  3. Writers? As in plural?

    Gee, whiz. Imagine being on the show and having to twiddle your thumbs indefinitely while the writers are in the background scurrying to come up with a punchline that the host couldn’t come up with on the spot. Were they not able to find a comedian with a quick wit? Shaun Micallef would have dished out zingers without a moment’s hesitation. Gretel Killeen has also proven herself as a presenter (without the convenience of pre-recording) on her years of Big Brother.

    This revelation merely makes Szubanski’s casting even more baffling than it already was. What exactly made her the pick of the litter again?

  4. Other than the ridiculous echo thing every time Magda says The Weakest Link, I am starting to like the show more. I like the bits when we see Magda’s natural comedic side come out.

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