After reportedly committing $18 million to the show, NBC will not be airing Ultimate Slip-N-Slide at all this summer after production was postponed due to an outbreak of giardia in June. The tiny parasite can cause giardiasis, and one of the symptoms includes diarrhea. The show was scheduled to debut on Sunday, Aug. 8 after the Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremony, but it became clear early last month it was not going to be ready.
On Monday, NBC told The Wrap that Ultimate Slip-N-Slide will not air before the end of the summer. The network and series producer Universal Television Alternative Studio is still hoping to find a new location to finish filming the elaborate game show. Comedians Bobby Moynihan and Ron Funches, who did not contract giardia, were hired to host the series.
Production on Ultimate Slip-N-Slide has been on hold since June 2, with seven weeks of filming already complete and only five days left to film. More than half of the show's staff was infected during a giardia outbreak, which reportedly caused cases of "awful explosive diarrhea." The series was being filmed at an isolated set in Simi Valley, California that cost $6 million to build.
At least one person tested positive for giardia and multiple others showed symptoms of giardiasis, including cramps, fatigue, and diarrhea. Although tests of the water at the set's slide pool, water truck, pond, well, and restroom sinks were all negative for giardia, a follow-up test found the parasite was in the dirt on the property. This meant that it was impossible to film at the same location, so producers started scouting for a new one. Meanwhile, Universal Television editors were trying to piece together a season without the last five days of filming before the studio and NBC ultimately decided to just postpone the whole show.
After initial reports on the situation were published on June 12, Funches joked about it. "I feel like no one in my family even knew I was in comedy until someone got diarrhea at my water park," the Harley Quinn star tweeted. "So PENultimate Slip-N-Slide then," comedian Paul F. Thompkins joked. "Wow. It be your own people," Funches replied to Thompkins. "How about we focus on all the people we threw down giant slip n slides who DIDNT GET DIARRHEA."
Since NBC pulled Ultimate Slip-N-Slide from the post-Closing Ceremony timeslot, the network replaced it with Family Game Night!, a new show hosted by real-life couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. Their show will then air at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesdays beginning on Aug. 11. NBC will also air new episodes of the game show The Wall, starting on Aug. 9 at 10 p.m. ET.