A month after production on NBC’s new competition series “Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide” was shut down by a diarrhea outbreak, the $18 million show has been pulled from its planned post-Olympics debut. NBC and Universal Television are in the process of determining a new premiere date, individuals with knowledge of the matter told TheWrap.
The competition was originally set to premiere Sunday, Aug. 8 at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT, after the Tokyo summ
As TheWrap reported Thursday, Universal Television Alternative Studio, which is producing the show for NBC, is looking at several options for how to move forward. “Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide” was shut down June 2 after seven weeks of shooting — with another five days to go, including the crucial final competition that had promised a huge cash-prize winner — after a stunning 65% of the show’s staff were infected by a giardia outbreak that caused multiple cases of “awful explosive diarrhea.”
At least one person on set tested positive 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. Tests on the location’s well, pond, the slide pool, water truck and the restroom sinks all came back negative, but additional testing has revealed giardia in the dirt around the set’s 65-foot yellow Slip ‘n Slide, Universal said. This makes impossible to resume shooting the final episodes as the production kicks up dust that could again contaminate the water.
The studio has nixed the idea of moving or rebuilding the show’s $6 million set from the Simi Valley, California, ranch where the giardia outbreak happened, but scouting is under way for a new, safe new location for potential future seasons.
Universal Television Alternative Studio will present two possible models for finishing the season to NBC next week, individuals with knowledge of the matter told TheWrap.
NBC declined TheWrap’s request for comment. On Thursday, a representative for Universal Television Alternative Studio reiterated its June 11 statement regarding the production: “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. We are in the process of determining next steps in order to complete production.”
The series, adapted from the classic backyard waterslide by Wham-O, is hosted by Bobby Moynihan and Ron Funches, who did not contract giardia and according to NBC are healthy and fine.
Matt Belloni originally reported the news that the show’s post-Olympics premiere has been canceled.