NBC to forge a second “Link”

After initially vowing to run NBC’s new quiz show The Weakest Link no more than once a week, the network’s entertainment president, Jeff Zucker, said Monday that he “chickened out” and decided to air it twice a week — on Sundays and Mondays — beginning next season. During a telephone press conference, Zucker acknowledged that he had made the decision to get the most out of the show while he could because he had no idea what the life expectancy of Link might be. Zucker also maintained that he was not worried about reported plans by ABC to air Who Wants to Be a Millionaire opposite the Monday edition of Link. “‘All I would say is we would welcome the challenge,” he said. However, several analysts predicted that Link was likely to take a big hit from Millionaire. Mark Berman of Mediaweek.com predicted in an interview with the New York Post that the ABC show will come out ahead. “I think Millionaire will have the advantage over Link,” he said. Referring to the hosts of the two shows, he added, “If you had to pick Regis over Anne Robinson, it’s going to be Regis.” But industry analyst Paul Schulman of Schulman/Advanswers told the New York Post: “It’s an interesting battle, but if those two shows end up going head-to-head, they’re certainly going to hurt each other.”