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NBC’s Diarrhea Scandal and Show Cancellation, Explained


NBC decided that the best way to deal with the mess behind the scenes of their new game show Ultimate Slip N Slide was to dispose of it completely, cancelling it before the first season premiered. In June, NBC halted production of the summer reality series after an outbreak of “awful explosive diarrhea” among the crew members. The game show — based on Wham-O’s classic backyard waterslide — was supposed to feature the hosting talents of Bobby Moynihan and Ron Funches, who were both fine despite the outbreak.

The production was based at a remote ranch in Simi Valley, California, reports What I’m Hearing and The Wrap. Sources told the later outlet that people collapsed on set and were “forced to run into port-o-potties.” On June 2, at least one person tested positive for giardia, a tiny parasite that causes giardiasis, a diarrheal disease. The germ is found on “surfaces or in soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with feces (poop) from infected people or animals,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Production was halted after the positive test so the water used on the elaborate set could be tested by the Los Angeles County and Ventura County Health Departments, and a third-party environmental lab. The water in the well, pond, slide pool, water truck, and restroom sinks tested negative, but water tested in the area tested positive for giardia, Universal said.

Ultimate Slip N Slide was originally supposed to premiere on Sunday following the Closing Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics. However, it was delayed last month, with the new game show Family Game Fight, hosted by celebrity couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, taking over the post-Olympics time slot instead. The situation got so much coverage that Funches joked that his family didn’t even know he was in comedy “until someone got diarrhea at my water park.” Later, Funches noticed comedian Paul F. Tompkins’ joke about the situation. “So PENultimate Slip-N-Slide then,” Tompkins wrote. “Wow. It be your own people,” Funches replied. “How about we focus on all the people we threw down giant slip n slides who DIDNT GET DIARRHEA.” Thompkins quickly replied, “Ron all I’m saying is, it’s not over yet!”

Ultimately, NBC decided that the show wasn’t worth saving. NBC announced on Friday that it decided to pull the project entirely and it will no longer air following the giardia outbreak onset. TVLine reports that despite there only being one week left of production of the game show, the network has decided to cancel the project and shelve it for good.

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