TV adaptation of NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! in development
Deadline reports that the hit National Public Radio panel podcast Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! is getting a television adaptation from NBCUniversal Cable’s Wilshire Studios and Storied Media Group.
The weekly series, which began in 1998 and hosted by Peter Sagal in Chicago, is recorded in front of a live audience and features a panel calling in contestants to answer provocative and humorous questions regarding current news events, or even having to answer the questions themselves. The show has been a big success for NPR over the 20 years of being on the air, currently averaging over six million listeners per broadcast via the radio and podcast release.
The TV adaptation will stay true to the spirit and format of the radio series, while also adding visual games that couldn’t be as enjoyed via a listening platform, and will remain in the hour-long format featuring three celebrity guests competing in comedic challenges and earning points, with the winner earning a cash prize to be donated to their charity of choice.
“We are delighted to be adapting the iconic Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” said Dawn Olmstead, President, Wilshire Studios. “The series, radio show and podcast, working in tandem, will allow us to expand the audience across multiple platforms. We look forward to working with our partners at NPR and Storied Media Group on growing this timely franchise.”
NPR previously attempted to adapt the series for TV in 2008 at CBS with Sagal returning as the host, but following the production of the pilot, the network decided not to pursue further episode productions, while BBC America released a televised special in 2011 that later aired on NPR in the radio format. The series previously won a Peabody Award in 2008.
“Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!is one of our flagship programs, so we are especially excited to bring it to Wilshire Studios, part of the NBCUniversal family, to develop for television,” said Michael Lutzky, VP of Business Development for NPR. “We are thrilled that one of the longest-running and most listened to radio and podcast franchises in history will now entertain television audiences with a fresh and fun look at the week’s news.”
No host, network or production schedule is currently set for the adaptation.