Host Leslie Jones says the best part about SUPERMARKET SWEEP is watching the shoppers’ best-laid plans immediately fall apart.
“Oh, before the sweep, they have all kinds of strategies, they are talking to each other, they are coaching each other,” Jones said. “But as soon as I say, ‘On your carts, get set, go,’ it’s like they forget the whole plan. I will say that there were some who came in, and they were ready. But I’m telling you that one of the best parts of the show is watching everybody strategize.”
SUPERMARKET SWEEP, which debuts Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CTV, is an updated version of the game show that first became popular in the 1960s, with subsequent versions in the ’90s and early 2000s. It has been adapted in 13 international territories and, most recently, relaunched in the U.K.
It’s safe to assume that with each update of this format, food prices have gone up a bit, right? But some things don’t change. As Jones puts it in one of the promo clips for SUPERMARKET SWEEP, “if you’re a fan of people running around like they’re possessed, you’re in the right place.”
SUPERMARKET SWEEP follows teams of two, as they use their grocery-shopping skills and knowledge of merchandise to win big cash prizes. Speaking with TV reporters to set up the series, the EMMY AWARD-nominated Jones – who is best known for her work on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, as well as the 2016 version of Ghostbusters – said that she hopes the show can simply be a nice escape for viewers who are living through an uncertain world.
“When I came into SUPERMARKET SWEEP, my main goal was to update it, because the show – there’s nothing wrong with the game-play, or the show itself, and the format – but I wanted to update it,” she said. “I wanted to bring some new music to it, bring some colour to it, bring some jolts to it, bring activity to it.”
What is Jones’ approach when she goes to the grocery store herself? Is she a strategizer, or a casual browser?
“I had a plan, sir,” she said. “I had three grocery stores that I went to. So it was never one grocery store. 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 if I had to go to Whole Foods to get, like, some sea salt, you know what I’m saying? Or if I had to go to Trader Joe’s and get some mangos, real hot spicy mangos, dried mangos. They only sell them at Trader Joe’s, I think. And get some turkey jerky. But when I went into the store, I always had a certain amount of money. So yes, I was focused. Five dollars in produce, 10 dollars in meats, you do have enough to get a Twinkie. So yes, sir, it was a calculated plan.”
But Jones’ career certainly has taken off since her more budget-conscious days.
“I always thought I was famous, so y’all the ones who was late, to be honest with you,” she said. “That’s a real statement right there.”
Already looking ahead, Jones was asked who she would like to line up if a celebrity version of SUPERMARKET SWEEP ever comes to pass.
“Oh, that’s so funny, we talk about that all the time,” Jones said. “Will Smith. It would be so hilarious to see Will Smith just run through the supermarket. Seth Rogen. Adam Sandler. Keenen (Wayans). Oh my goodness, you just put it in my head. Now we’ve got to have a celebrity version. Can you see Sherri Shepherd trying to run through the aisles? Jennifer Lopez. Rihanna. How do you think Rihanna would run through the grocery store? She’d probably be real gorgeous.”
By BILL HARRIS ~ Special to The Lede / Bell Media