Channel Nine’s reboot of The Weakest Link has been savaged by viewers who have criticised the odd casting of comedian Magda Szubanski.
Confused viewers took to social media last night to share their disdain that their favourite Kath and Kim character, Sharon Strzelecki formerly played by Szubankski, 60, had replaced the late Cornelia Frances as the serious quizmaster.
Some were puzzled at Szubanki’s take on the stern and villainous character that was played so well by Frances in the previous series and were unconvinced by her new TV persona.
“No suit and resting bitch face can un-Sharon Strzelecki you, soz Magda,” one user wrote on Twitter.
“10 mins into #WeakestLinkAU and I couldn’t cringe harder. Magda’s overacting and scripted put downs are unbearable. Cornelia Francis would be horrified at what they’re doing to her legacy,” another user wrote.
The audience voted with their remotes, tuning out just minutes into the game show, meaning program didn’t fare well in the night’s TV ratings.
The show had a good lead in from Celebrity Apprentice but shed 200,000 viewers to just scrape into the top 20 programs of the day in 19th position, with 423,000 metro viewers nationally.
In Perth, just 40,000 viewers tuned in for the show’s premiere, the 22nd most watched program of the day, easily beaten by Channel Seven’s The Chase Australia (83,000) and Home and Away (82,000) and Big Brother (63,000).
Ahead of the show’s launch, which sees contestants vie for up to $250,000 in prize money, Szubanski had promised a fun take on the serious role.
“You’ll see hints of my old characters, more banter with the contestants. It’s more fun,” she said.
“I believe in evolving traditions, and it’s not your mum and dad’s Weakest Link at all.”