Jeopardy is back with its 40th season and while fans are ecstatic to have their favorite quiz game show back, they should be expecting certain changes. The popular television show created by Merv Griffin concluded its 39th season in July and saw co-host Mayim Bialik stepping away in solidarity with the WGA strike. Ken Jennings came forward to host the rest of the games after Bialik’s exit. Here’s what can be expected out of season 40 of the series.
Jeopardy 40 premiere date, host, and WGA strike
Season 40 of Jeopardy premiered with its first game on Monday, September 11, 2023. Ken Jennings has returned as the host and Mayim Bialik’s temporary exit remains till the strike goes on. Jennings also received backlash for not opting out of hosting and supporting the strike. For the unversed, the WGA strike has been ongoing since May this year when writers decided to protest against unfair compensation. SAG-AFTRA joined the strike in July.
Today’s Final Jeopardy (28 July 2023): Who won Game 230 of Season 39?
Changes in Jeopardy 40
Recycled material and former contestants
There will be several changes in how Jeopardy functions this season because of the writer’s strike. Since there are no new scripts and clues due to the protest, Jeopardy season 40 will be reusing clues from its previous 39 seasons. The recycled content would give them enough material to run a full season and it does not depend on the strike since it was researched and created pre-strike. Representatives of the show have previously addressed this change.
“We have always been careful to honor our WGA agreements and we would never air game material not created by WGA writers,” they said. As per the reps, Jeopardy will use the best of their WGA written material” to run the season and instead of new contestants, viewers will witness a second chance tournament. Michael Davies, showrunner of Jeopardy, talked about the decision to invite old contestants instead of new ones on the Inside Jeopardy podcast.
“I believe, principally that it would not be fair to have new contestants,” he said and further explained, “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.” Thus, season 40 of the popular show will feature season 37 and season 38 contestants, and material from their database will be redeployed.
The cash prizes won by the runner-ups have also changed this season. The contestant who will finish in the third place will get $2,000, and the contestant in the second place will leave with $3,000. Both the amounts have been increased by $1,000, per the press release. Davies addressed this and said they understand that post-COVID, travel costs have increased and it is complicated to fund a trip. Jeopardy 40 is also known as Jeopardy Second Chance.
Today’s Final Jeopardy (27 July 2023): Who won Game 229 of Season 39?