November 16, 2011
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR


   

NPR AND BBC AMERICA TO BRING "WAIT WAIT...DON’T TELL ME!" TO TV IN DECEMBER

The Peabody Award-winning news quiz show to make its TV debut with a "2011 Year in Review" special on BBC AMERICA

Click to Tweet: .@NPR & @BBCAMERICA bring Peabody-winning quiz show @waitwait to TV w/ Year-in-Review special on Dec 23

NPR and BBC AMERICA announced today that the Peabody Award-winning radio quiz show, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, will make its television debut on BBC AMERICA with a "2011 Year in Review" special on Friday, December 23, 8:00pm ET/PT. The year-end special will also broadcast on NPR stations on that weekend, December 24 and 25.

The Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! (1 x 60) special will be produced by BBC AMERICA, NPR, and Chauncey Street Productions, with Albie Hecht and Doug Berman serving as executive producers. Host Peter Sagal, along with official judge and scorekeeper Carl Kasell, will lead a panel of both US and UK talent, including comedians Paula Poundstone and Alonzo Bodden, through 2011's biggest events. The special will look back at the year's top stories from an American and British perspective and will also include listener contests and celebrity guests from both sides of the pond. The show will tape in front of a live audience at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago on December 2.

Perry Simon, General Manager, Channels, BBC Worldwide America says: "The comedy panel show has been a staple of British television and The Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! is the gold standard of the format on radio in the US. This year-end special offers the perfect opportunity to join forces with our friends at NPR and is a great addition to our new original programming development stable. As a long-time listener of The Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, I think its television debut is long overdue and I can't wait to see what Peter, Carl and the team look like."

Doug Berman, creator and benevolent overlord of NPR's The Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! and Car Talk, says: "It's going to be pretty much what we do every week, except NPR has to add a budget line for pants."

Host Peter Sagal says: "This is terrific, because I always assumed that the only way I could get on the BBC would be to have David Attenborough narrate my mating rituals. Glad this happened instead."

Now in its 14th season, The Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! has an audience of more than 3.2 million listeners weekly on 595 NPR member public radio stations. Its audience has grown in every ratings period since its premiere in January 1998. The radio show is produced by NPR and WBEZ. To find local stations and broadcast times, play games and laugh along with the show's blog, visit www.npr.org/waitwait.

The Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! is the latest commission to join BBC AMERICA's stable of all-new original programming, along with the new comedy panel show Would You Rather? with Graham Norton, which premieres on December 3 as part of the Ministry of Laughs and The Nerdist special on December 24, plus Richard Hammond's Crash Course and scripted drama Copper premiering in 2012.

Note to editors
Twitter: @BBCAMERICA @NPR @WaitWait Hashtag: #WaitWait2011

BBC AMERICA delivers U.S. audiences high-quality, innovative and intelligent programming. Established in 1998, it has been the launch pad for talent embraced by American mainstream pop culture, including Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Norton, and successful programming formats including ground-breaking non-scripted television like Top Gear and top-rated science-fiction like Doctor Who. Owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC AMERICA has attracted both critical acclaim and major awards including an Emmy®, four Golden Globes® and ten Peabody Awards. The channel attracts one of cable's most affluent and educated audiences and is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 71 million homes. It broadcasts in both standard and high-definition, with content available On Demand across all major digital platforms. Online, www.bbcamerica.com is the place to go to dig deeper into pop culture with a British twist.

Find out more by visiting www.press.bbcamerica.com or follow us on www.twitter.com/bbcamerica.

NPR is an award-winning, multimedia news organization that reaches more than 27 million people every week. In collaboration with more than 900 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to provide the public with a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures. To find local stations and broadcast times for NPR programs, visit www.npr.org/stations