(KGET) — Leslie Jones has never been afraid to speak her mind. That worked against her when she was a struggling young comic as some found her style a little too gruff. It paid off when Jones decided that she wanted to bring back the classic game show “Supermarket Sweep.” The new version – with Jones as the producer and host – launches at 8 p.m. Oct. 18 on ABC.
Just like the original series that aired on ABC from 1965-1967, the updated “Sweep” features three teams of two who show off their grocery shopping skills and knowledge of merchandise to win big cash prizes.
“Supermarket Sweep” executive producer Alycia Rossiter credits Jones with making this edition a new experience.
“This show has a host that was not hired as a host. This show has a human being who grew up loving this show and wanting to remake it,” Rossiter says. “I think one of the things that’s very different is instead of hiring talent to do the work of the host, Leslie found out who owned the intellectual property that is ‘Supermarket Sweep’ and came to them and said, ‘Hey, I want to make this show. I want to produce it with you. I want to host it.’
“And so what is different is Leslie Jones. It’s her love of the old show shining through for 2020.”
Jones comes into the hosting duties with plenty of grocery shopping knowledge.
“When I grocery shopped, I had a plan planned. I had three grocery stores that I went to. I went to one store for my meat. I went to one store for my produce and then I went to one store for, like, maybe sweets or to maybe like, if I had to go to Whole Foods to get some sea salt.
“When I went into the store, I always had a certain amount of money. So yes, I was focused. You know what I’m saying? $5 in produce. $10 in meats. You do have enough to get a Twinkie. So yes, sir, it was a calculated plan.”
Jones brings that planning ability to the game show. She explains the new “Sweep” keeps the best parts of the original series and adds some modern touches. And those touches are more than just having the “Saturday Night Live” graduate host.
“We change the music. We change some of the games. We change the amount of money. We changed the way that you win the games. We made it look a little bit harder,” Jones says.
The episodes of “Supermarket Sweep” were filmed during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Strict safety precautions were in place during all of the filming.
The pandemic had a dramatic impact on the show because Jones is well aware of how important grocery store workers have been during this time. To pay tribute to them, Jones will give thanks to a real employee of a grocery store across the nation each week. Along with the thanks, that employee will get $2,000.
After the episodes were filmed, all of the food used to stock the shelves on the set was donated to the Los Angeles Food Bank. Any items that were past their prime were donated to facilities that feed animals.
Posing for pictures
Nat Geo WILD’s new two-part special, “Photo Ark,” premiering at 10 p.m. Oct. 17, follows National Geographic Photographer and Founder of the Photo Ark, Joel Sartore, on his mission to photograph and bring light to thousands of species and subspecies at risk around the world.
Although he often has some very dangerous animals in front of his camera, most of his subjects have been relatively calm. Part of that comes from those animals being around people for most of their lives.
“Once they realize that there’s just not a problem, that you’re not there to hurt them, they’re smart, and they like being fed extra treats, and the shoot comes off just fine,” Sartore says. “But everything from sloths to moths, they’re patient and they’re tolerant of the process.
“Remember, we’re not paparazzi, and we’re not shooting very many pictures of a lot of these animals. It’s maybe 10 or 12 frames of a bird in my photo tent. Maybe the same, maybe a little bit more, with something like that armadillo or a larger animal, some sort of groundhog, all the way up to rhinos, elephants, we do everything.“
It’s not just bragging when Sartore says he has photographed everything. He has photographed more than 10,000 species during the past 15 years. He estimates that if he can photograph 5,000 more species he will have captured images of everything in human care.