‘Jeopardy!’ Shamed Into Canceling Its Biggest Event

in Entertainment, Television

Mayim Bialik on Jeopardy

Credit: CBS

Jeopardy! is planning to continue making new episodes of the quizzical game show, and current champions have been very outspoken about the show continuing through the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, with many publicly stating they would be boycotting the show until the strikes are resolved. The champions can now count a win under their belt, as the hit game show has been forced to cancel its biggest event.

Mayim Bialik Jeopardy
Credit: ABC

Related: ‘Jeopardy!’ May Be About to Lose Its Fanbase

The issue has been that Jeopardy! continues to produce episodes of the series while the strikes are ongoing, claiming that most of what is being produced was written before the WGA strike began on May 2. The show plans to release additional information about these new episodes in August, which might not work in smoothing out the issues the show’s champions have had.

Sony Pictures TV released a statement claiming they have had “a long history with and tremendous respect for the WGA and our writers” and “we would never air game material not created by WGA writers.”

Despite the statement provided, many champions have banded together to ensure they would not be appearing on the show until the strikes are concluded. This has led to Jeopardy! canceling its Tournament of Champions.

‘Jeopardy!’ Pushes Back Tournament of Champions

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

Jeopardy! has officially announced that it will stand in solidarity with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes by postponing its Tournament of Champions. In the statement provided, the show revealed that it “never had any intention” of allowing the Tournament to happen “until the strike is resolved.”

The Tournament of Champions typically films in August and September, but it will be postponed until the strikes end.

Though this statement might have come a bit too late, Sony Pictures TV also indicated that many of the recent champions boycotting the show had not been contacted to appear in the first place, which might cause even more issues between the winners and the show.

Instead of showcasing the annual event, Jeopardy! will focus on material that was previously written before the WGA strike began. The statement claims that the show will rely on past material comprised of the past 39 seasons. This statement is confusing because it sounds like the series is gearing up to use re-runs. It could be that unused material will be cultivated to produce new episodes.

The first champion to speak out against the show continuing was Ray Lalonde, who won $386,400 through 13 wins last season. Lalonde wrote on social media that he would refuse to appear in the Tournament of Champions until the show’s writers were rightfully paid. According to Lalonde’s post on the Jeopardy! Reddit page:

“As a supporter of the trade union movement, a union member’s son and a proud union member myself I have informed the show’s producers that if the strike remains unresolved I will not cross a picket line to play in the tournament of champions.”

Shorty after Lalonde released a statement about the quiz show continuing, he was joined by last season’s winners Chris Pannullo, Hannah Wilson, Ben Chan, Troy Meyer, Ben Goldstein, Luigi de Guzman, and Suresh Krishnan.

alex trebek (left) with ken jennings (right) holding jeopardy trophy
Credit: ABC

Related: ‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Outraged Over Contestant’s Actions, “Literally Torture”

Jeopardy! has faced scrutiny for many years since Alek Trebek passed away. The series fumbled completely when selecting new hosts, which finally landed on Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings. Fans of the show have been plenty critical of both hosts and deciding to continue producing episodes through the stikes might be the proverbial nail in the coffin that causes drops in viewership numbers.

What do you think about Jeopardy! postponing the Tournament of Champions? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!


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