The Weakest Survivors

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If you can't beat 'em – steal their contestants.

That's the strategy NBC will use next month when some of the original "Survivor" contestants will appear on the peacock network's new game show, "The Weakest Link."

An NBC spokesman was unavailable for comment, but CBS spokeswoman Colleen Sullivan confirmed that contestants from the original CBS reality show will appear on the program during the important May "sweeps" period.

Sullivan said that the contestants from the original "Survivor" had a contractual obligation not to appear on any other network through 2000, but that they were now free to do as they please.

"We knew that," she told Reuters. "We said fine. If we had our choice they wouldn't do it." She also added that NBC will be largely prohibited from using the "Survivor" name during the show.

The broadcast will air May 10; a week after the "Survivor" sequel, "Survivor: The Australian Outback," airs its final episode.

"Weakest Link," which made it debut Monday night, is a cross between CBS' "Survivor" and ABC's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire". Players must answer trivia questions while banking money. Those who perform poorly are voted off the show by their teammates and then dismissed by host Anne Robinson's curt phrase: "You are the weakest link. Goodbye."

Survivor:
The Australian Outback
To read, see and hear more about the sequel to the enormously popular Survivor TV show, click here to visit the official CBS Web site.
"I don't think we can bury our heads in the sand and not acknowledge that these people were a national phenomenon," said NBC entertainment president, Jeff Zucker. "It's a tip of the hat to them and a fun way to play the game."

A big "Survivor" fan, Zucker raised some eyebrows last summer, when as executive producer of the "Today Show" he devoted a lot of time to "Survivor" segments.

He said no one at the network was against his "Weakest Link" idea.

"To ignore it is to not acknowledge what most Americans are aware of," he said. "So, in the effort to survive, we can have some fun with these celebrities. If you know what I mean."

CBS is enjoying the cross promotion.

Spokesman Chris Ender said he didn't consider it unusual, since stars from other networks appear on "The Late Show With Davi Letterman" all the time.

"It's not a big deal," he said. "We'll take the additional promotion for 'Survivor.'"

Appearing on the broadcast will be Richard Hatch, Susan Hawk, Sean Kenniff, Ramona Gray, Gretchen Cordy and Joel Klug.

And for those who must know…

The original castaways get their revenge.

"Access Hollywood" is reporting that the nasty, naked Richard Hatch, who won the original "Survivor" contest through shifting sand other Machiavellian maneuvers, will be the first person voted "The Weakest Link."


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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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