Two weeks after NBC’s new series Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide shut down production because of a diarrhea outbreak on its California set, TV audiences are no closer to seeing it.
The Wrap reports that the network and Universal Television have not yet figured out how to make the new show, hosted by comedians Bobby Moynihan and Ron Funches, work without its final episodes, including the finale, in which someone will win a cash prize for their deft navigation of waterpark challenges.
And the pressure is on, because it’s scheduled to premiere in a prime spot, on Aug. 8, immediately after the closing ceremony of the Olympics. Not only that, but most of the $18 million show had already been filmed — seven weeks, leaving just five days of filming ahead — when up to 40 crew members fell violently ill.
The culprit was giardia, an intestinal infection that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is caused by a tiny parasite. People usually contract it by swallowing contaminated drinking water or contaminated water from lakes, rivers or pools. A “knowledgeable insider” tells the outlet that, through weeks of “closed-door meetings and health experts weighing in on options,” it has come to light that 65 percent of the show’s crew was infected.
The team first learned of the problem on June 2, when a single crew member tested positive for the illness, although others were exhibiting symptoms. People suffered from “awful explosive diarrhea” to the point where they were “collapsing” and running for the bathroom, according to the Wrap.
At the time, a spokesperson for Universal Television Alternative Studios told Yahoo Entertainment in a statement: “The health and safety of everyone on our set is our number one priority, so out of an abundance of caution we have made the decision to stop production of Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide at the current location. We are in the process of determining next steps in order to complete production.”
An environmental lab NBCUniversal hired to test the water at the Simi Valley set failed to turn up anything. But on June 10, further testing determined that there was a problem in the surrounding area: the dirt around the 65-foot Slip ‘N Slide. That’s an issue, because if they were to shoot the remaining days, whenever people move around in that area, the dirt can get stirred up and — you guessed it — infect the water.
Showrunners have reportedly decided against moving the $6 million set for now, although they’re looking for a place to film a second season, and they’re preparing to present to the network two choices for what the debut season will look like.
The production declined Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.
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