Jeopardy! is undergoing a big change for its Season 40 as a result of the writers strike.
Michael Davies, who took over as exec producer and showrunner on a permanent basis last year, admitted that a lot of his plans for Season 40 and the post-season episodes have been “derailed” and that the show is now in a “holding pattern”.
Speaking on the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, he said that he admires and misses the writers, who are “beloved and valued members of the Jeopardy! team” but the industrial action has lead to a “changed” Season 40.
Essentially, it will bring back previous contestants for Season 40 and will use a combination of questions written by the writers before the strike as well as recycled material.
“I believe, principally, that it would not be fair to have new contestants making their first appearance on the Alex Trebek stage, doing it with non-original material or… a combination of non-original material and material that was written pre-strike. So we decided that really we needed to invite back and give a second chance in general to players who probably thought that their chance to come back and play on the Alex Trebek stage had gone forever. We’re going to open the season with a second chance tournament for players from Season 37 who lost their initial game, and winners from that will advance to a Season 37 and Season 38 Champions Wild Card.”
This comes after plans to extend the post-season were scrapped due to the strike. He revealed there were plans to kick off the entire season of Jeopardy! with post-season episodes, a champions wild card tournament leading into a Tournament of Champions before going into regular episodes.
“I understand that the best episodes that are possible are episodes that feature our writers writing original material and the very best contestants that we put on the air playing that original material,” he added.
He admitted that he had “no idea on timing” as to when it will be able to return to regular episodes with new contestants.
Elsewhere, he said that the second and third place prize pots are being increased by $1,000, meaning that second place gets $3,000 and third place getting $2,000. “We understand that post-Covid travel, plans have increased and how complicated funding a trip to Jeopardy! is for many contestants within our community and we think this is way about time,” he said.
However, no word on hosts when the show returns in September. Deadline revealed in May that Mayim Bialik, who swaps hosting dates with Ken Jennings, decided against hosting the final episodes of Season 40 as a result of the writers strike.
Content Source: deadline.com