‘Jeopardy’ Host Accused of Changing Rules Mid-Game To Save Contestant, Fans Furious

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Ken Jennings on Jeopardy

Credit: NBC

Jeopardy host Ken Jennings is facing a new onslaught of fan backlash, as the former champion is accused of bending the beloved quiz show rules in order to help a contestant.

Jeopardy host Ken Jennings
Credit : ABC

While Jeopardy has long been considered one of the most dignified of game shows, largely avoiding the heated intensity of The Price Is Right and the sometimes bizarrely confrontational Wheel of Fortune, things have changed a bit since the sad passing of legendary host Alex Trebek in 2020 due to pancreatic cancer.

Since Trebek left the show, things have been pretty tumultuous for Jeopardy Entertainment. First, there was the debacle of replacing the longtime host, which saw the show featuring weeks of guest hosts like LeVar Burton, Dr Mehmet Oz, and Katie Couric.

Related: ‘Jeopardy!’ Officially Rebooted With New Host, First Look Photos Emerge

Many fans of the show expected one of the guest hosts to become the new permanent face of the show, so it was a shock when Mike Richards, one of the producers on the show, was announced as the new host of Jeopardy. Infamously, Richards lasted a single day of recording episodes before stepping down as host amidst allegations of workplace misconduct, and shortly after, was dismissed as a producer on the series.

Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings hosting Jeopardy
Credit: CBS/Inside the Magic

After that, Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik became co-hosts, with the former handling tournaments, the latter taking over Celebrity Jeopardy, and the pair alternating the classic edition of the show.

While one might think that would calm things down a little, the exact opposite has happened. Mayim Bialik infuriated many fans with her on-screen persona and many gaffes, while Jennings has shown an odd tendency toward off-color (and sometimes allegedly offensive) jokes on social media.

The final star for Mayim Bialik came when she stepped away from hosting duties during the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike. It was unclear for weeks whether the Blossom actress would return to the show, until showrunner Michael Davies announced that Jennings would be the sole host of Jeopardy for season 40, effectively ousting Bialik from America’s favorite quiz show.

Mayim Bialik on Jeopardy
Credit: ABC

However, Jennings himself has shown an increasing tendency to outrage Jeopardy fans and, in a recent episode, is actually being accused of giving a contestant unprecedented multiple answers during a Daily Double.

In an episode last week, Jeopardy contestant Phil Hoffman received a Daily Double, in which the category was “A Brief History of Time,” with the clue reading, “An 1884 conference chose the meridian of this facility’s transit instrument as the ‘prime’ starting point for time zones.”

Related: ‘Jeopardy’ Host Called Out by Guest: “I Knew I Didn’t Like You”

Hoffman’s initial answer was “Greenwich,” to which Ken Jennings paused and asked for clarification.

“What is Greenwich, England?” Hoffman tried next, and then continued for a third guess, saying “What is the observatory of Greenwich?”

Fans on Reddit were annoyed that Ken Jennings had given the contestant repeated chances to answer the question, even within the short time period allowed in a Daily Double.

We’ll just have to wait and see whether Jeopardy fans ever revolt against Ken Jennings in the same way they did against Mayim Bialik. If he keeps up these kinds of controversial rulings, it might well happen.

Did Ken Jennings bend the rules too much on this question? Instruct us in the comments below!

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