‘Jeopardy!’ May Be About to Lose Its Fanbase

in Movies & TV

'Jeopardy!' host Mayim Bialik holding the Final Jeopardy! card

Credit: ABC, YouTube

Jeopardy! fans and contestants are united in their views over the show’s upcoming potentially controversial episodes.

Ken Jennings (L) and Mayim Bialik (R) on the 'Jeopardy!' set
Credit: ABC

Heading towards the end of Season 39, the syndicated run of Jeopardy! will end in late July. While Mayim Bialik should be hosting the final episodes, the presenter and actress made the decision to step down from the show in May in solidarity with the Writers Guild of America strikes sweeping the nation. Her refusal to cross the picket line has made it so co-host Ken Jennings will lead her scheduled episodes.

The pair share hosting duties on Jeopardy! while both also presenting on the ABC primetime specials Celebrity Jeopardy! and Jeopardy! National College Championship, which Bialik hosts, and Jeopardy! Masters, which Jennings hosts. The latter, which aired in May, saw James Holzhauer beat out Mattea Roach, Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, Andrew He, and Sam Buttrey to win the competition.

'Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings asking the Final Jeopardy! clue
Credit: ABC

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

Jennings, for the most part, has been a hit with audiences. Bialik, on the other hand, has faced criticism for her presenting style, most recently being accused of inconsistent judging while hosting the syndicated show. Jennings and Bialik are the joint hosts for Jeopardy!, having taken over from Mike Richards in Season 38 and continuing into Season 39. The change in presenters came after the unfortunate passing of long-time host Alex Trebek, who passed aged 80 from pancreatic cancer.

Despite the backlash over certain presenting choices, as well as beef with contestants and clues, audiences come back episode after episode to get their dose of Daily Double, Double Jeopardy!, and Final Jeopardy! action.

However, a new report from a former contestant could end Jeopardy!‘s fanbase if it comes to fruition.

This image released by JEOPARDY! shows the new set for the popular quiz show.
Credit: ABC

According to reports from The US Sun, Jeopardy! is potentially planning on bypassing the WGA strikes by reusing old clues from the show. Former contestant Roy LaLonde, who won 13 games and qualified for the next Tournament of Champions, has taken to Reddit to express his concern over the potential decision:

“Hello everyone, My name is Ray Lalonde, and I was a Jeopardy! champion this past season. I’d like to break my accustomed social media avoidance and reach out to the broad Jeopardy! community if I may,” the report reads. “There are now credible reports that the producers are making contingency plans to start filming the next season of the show with old and/or recycled material if the WGA strike remains unresolved.”

As a union member, the winner goes on to say that if no agreement is resolved, he has told the Jeopardy! Productions team that he will not play in the forthcoming Tournament of Champions.

Mayim Bialik on Jeopardy! set
Credit: ABC

Upon reading LaLonde’s statement, other Jeopardy! contestants who were set to appear joined him in taking a stand. Hannah Wilson, Ben Chan, Cris Pannullo, and Troy Meyer were all in solidarity with his comments. “I’ll stand with you, Ray!” Wilson wrote. “A TOC with all recycled clues doesn’t sound like much fun to play in, anyway.”

Fans also showed support for the players’ decision, showing that if Jeopardy! did go ahead with the decision to tape the Tournament of Champions shows, they could be down a good portion of their fanbase.

Mayim Bialik 'Jeopardy!' host
Credit: ABC

Related: ‘Jeopardy!’ Officials Speak out on “Painful” Episode, Fans Say It’s “One of the Worst Ever”

Back in May, Jeopardy! writers Michele Loud, Jim Rhine, and Billy Wisse walked in front of the studio gates they have worked at for over two decades. “Our words are on the screen every night,” Loud told Variety. “There is no Jeopardy! without writers. Without us, it’s just an empty blue screen.”

Jeopardy! was created by Merv Griffin and over the decades has become a pop culture phenomenon.

What do you think will happen with the Tournament of Champions and Jeopardy! Season 40? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

in Movies & TV

View Comments (18)