Giardia strikes the network and Ben Silverman’s post-Olympics game-show adaptation of classic Wham-O backyard toy
At least one person on set tested positive on June 2 for giardia, an intestinal infection caused by a parasite, while multiple individuals reported symptoms, according to Universal Television Alternative Studios, which is producing the show for NBC.
Bobby Moynihan and Ron Funches, who are hosting the series for a coveted post-Tokyo Olympics time slot later this summer, are healthy and fine, a network spokesperson said.
Production was shut down on June 2 as the water used on the show’s elaborate set — including a 65-foot-tall slippery yellow slide — was tested for parasites by the L.A. and Ventura County Health Departments as well as a third-party environmental lab. Tests on the location’s well, pond, the slide pool, water truck and the restroom sinks all came back negative, but on Thursday additional testing revealed giardia in the surrounding area, Universal said.
“The health and safety of everyone on our set is our number one priority, so out of an abundance of caution we have made the decision to stop production of ‘Ultimate Slip ’N Slide’ at the current location,” a rep for the studio said in a statement. “We are in the process of determining next steps in order to complete production.”
The studio said that the outbreak occurred after seven weeks of shooting, with another five days still left to shoot.
According to the first insider, many original crew members are reluctant to return to the shoot and blame the production for not ensuring that fresh, clean water was used on set.
“Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide,” which has a 10-episode order, promises to be “a fresh take on Wham-O’s iconic 1960s outdoor game,” according to NBC’s description. “Fresh” may have been the wrong term to go with there. “This wet-and-wild new series takes the spirit of the classic backyard slide and transforms it into a real-life water park full of gigantic slippery rides with the chance to take home a big cash prize,” the show’s logline continues.
“Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide” features pairs of siblings, best friends, couples and co-workers who will compete in multiple rounds of games, including Human Pong, Body Bowling, Cornhole, Bocce Fall and many more. The two teams that make it to the final challenge will take on the Big Slipper, a colossal multipart slide meant for only the bravest and boldest players as it determines who will earn the title of Slip ‘N Slide champion and take home the cash prize.
“Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide” is produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio in association with Propagate. The series is executive produced by Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens, Gregory Lipstone, and Kevin Healey for Propagate, Tom Forman, Jenny Daly, Todd Richards, Bruce Kaufman, Shye Sutherland Sharp, Tina Nicotera Bachmann and Keith Geller.
“Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide” is scheduled to debut on Sunday, Aug. 8 at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT. The following night it will transition to its regular time slot of Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT.