Comedian Leslie Jones is hosting ABC's reboot of Supermarket Sweep, debuting Oct. 18 at 8 PM EST. The classic game show is still a fan favorite, and Jones is the perfect host. In a chat with Entertainment Weekly, the Saturday Night Live grad confessed to a deep love of game shows and what sets Sweep apart from other fun programs.
Jones is a longtime gameshow fan, saying:
There were a lot of game shows I wanted to be on. I wrote Wheel of Fortune so much that they sent me a letter saying, 'Hey, we know. We got it.' [Laughs] I’m a game show head! Supermarket Sweep was one of those game shows where it was like, you don’t even have to really be smart. I know grocery stores, and I know what the hell is expensive and what’s not. It’s just a show for regular people. [It’s not like] Jeopardy! — you don’t have to know 17 states and s---; you just have to know where the steaks are.
She wanted to be a contestant on Sweep back in the day, dishing:
When I was trying to get on Supermarket Sweep, [the prize] was, like, $5,000 — after taxes, it was still gonna be more than I had. These contestants are real people: some who want to put people through college; there's people who want to pay bills; there's people who have children they need to take care of. Especially during COVID, for us to be able to give this type of money away is life-changing and wonderful.
COVID-19 filming protocol changed a lot about the show, Jones added:
We were on a set and then we had to shut that down, so the best possible [option] was to build a big grocery store. We went to the Santa Monica Airport and got a hangar there. We got a [production designer] to come on — he's one of the best — and he built this whole grocery store inside and it really helped with the COVID situation because we could separate everyone. We could have more room to work, to keep people separated from each other six feet, and keep regulations going because we have enough room to do it.