‘Jeopardy!’ Boss Weighs in on Divisive and Notable Change to Game Show

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Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik on set

Credit: ABC

Jeopardy! is one of the most iconic shows on television, and now Michael Davies is speaking out on a divisive change to the format.

Mayim Bialik holding Final Jeopardy card
Credit: ABC

Back in 2020, the sad passing of celebrated Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek meant that one of America’s most beloved tv shows was to have a new host.

A year later, and after some public controversies regarding Mike Richards, Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik took the reins and has been presenting the syndicated version of Jeopardy! since 2021 — first to finish up Richards’ 38th season and then to co-host Season 39 moving forward. She shares hosting duties with former Jeopardy! icon Ken Jennings, who in 2004 ended his streak with a loss to Nancy Zerg in his 75th game of the show.

alex trebek (left) and ken jennings (right) taking a selfie on the jeopardy set
Credit: ABC

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Since beginning her stint on Jeopardy!, host Mayim Bialik has come under fire multiple times for inconsistent hosting, with fans of the show calling out the presenter and actress on social media.

Alongside the syndicated version, which has Bialik and Jennings at the helm, both also host other Jeopardy! TV shows on The Walt Disney Company’s ABC network. Bialik leads Jeopardy! National College Championship and Celebrity Jeopardy! while Jennings recently hosted the Jeopardy! Masters spinoff.

Mayim Bialik as Jeopardy! host
Credit: ABC

Jeopardy! Masters, which aired in May 2023, sees six familiar Jeopardy! champions face each other in a Champions League format. James Holzhauer came first, with the show’s most successful Canadian contestant, Mattea Roach, placing second. But one major thing is different here — Masters reveals to viewers where all the Daily Doubles are.

From the three rounds (Jeopardy!, Double Jeopardy!, and Final Jeopardy!) to in-round features like the Daily Double, the show features various elements that make it so entertaining.

But one divisive change has seen the show’s executive producer Michael Davies weigh in on the matter.

Mayim Bialik on 'Jeopardy!' set
Credit: ABC

It’s true in Jeopardy! Masters that the placement of the Daily Doubles was revealed to viewers, but this is obviously not the case for the syndicated show.

“Almost everybody’s asking me about the reveal of the Daily Double,” Davies told the Inside Jeopardy! podcast (via TV Insider). “That is almost the minor detail that was done as a format gift to ABC. I’m sort of on the fence about it; it feels to me like a bit of a stage weight, to be honest, and it was my idea, but we don’t really need it.”

mayim bialik on jeopardy set
Credit: ABC

Davies acknowledged that Masters was a success but hoped to learn from the experience and “make it better in the future.” The boss spoke on some of the logistics of working with the Daily Double(s) reveal on screen.

“…I think that we need to really look at the shot sequence of the selection of categories and how the clue then goes full screen,” Davies said. “And we either need to get the category on the full-screen clue, or we need to change the shot sequence so it’s very clear from which the clue is coming.”

As TV Insider points out, this aligns somewhat with what host Ken Jennings told WISN Channel 12 Milwaukee News, when he said that they don’t know if they will try it on the syndicated version, but he personally finds it interesting to know (the hosts always know) where the Daily Double(s) are.

Alex Trebek
Credit: ABC

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However, while Davies plans to make changes to the format and improve, and Jennings remains coy on whether the change will affect the syndicated widely-watched version, fans took to social media to discuss. And opinion is split.

Created by Merv Griffin, Jeopardy! began airing in 1964 and ran on NBC for 11 years until 1975. The current version started airing in 1984 and is produced by Sony Pictures Television. The show is currently on its 39th season.

What do you think of this change to the game show? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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