“Alex Is Turning Over in His Grave,” ‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Attack Beloved Game Show After Latest Update

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

Credit: NBC

Jeopardy! Productions is under fire from fans of the beloved American game show after their latest announcement.

Ken Jennings looking awkward on 'Jeopardy'
Credit: NBC

Jeopardy!‘s popularity has been built over six decades. What began as an idea from the wife of Jeopardy! creator Merv Griffin in the early sixties has exploded into a pop culture phenomenon, capturing millions of viewers every episode. The syndicated version, which many are familiar with, began in 1984 and was hosted by the late Alex Trebek until his death in 2020.

Trebek’s passing, caused by stage IV pancreatic cancer, propelled Jeopardy! into uncharted territory, with guest hosts standing in for the remainder of the season. Trebek’s successors were eventually confirmed as former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings and The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik. That was in 2021.

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

Now, three years later, the landscape of Jeopardy! is even more different. Following her stepping down in solidarity with the 2023 Writers Guild of America (WGA) strikes and subsequent Screen Actors Guild and American Association of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes, Mayim Bialik was eventually removed from her regular hosting duties, with Ken Jennings stepping up as solo host.

Bialik not only leaves behind her hosting duties on the regular syndicated show but also her primetime slot as host on Celebrity Jeopardy! and Jeopardy! National College Championship. Ken Jennings hosted the second season of the former when it aired in September 2023.

Mayim Bialik on Celebrity Jeopardy!
Credit: ABC

Before taking on Bialik’s role on the ABC shows, Jennings hosted his own primetime special: Jeopardy! Masters. This version of the game show brought back a group of familiar faces to compete with each other, with last year’s first season seeing the likes of James Holzhauer, Amy Schneider, Mattea Roach, and Matt Amodio return to the Alex Trebek Stage once again.

Holzhauer snagged the win in the first series, adding another $500,000 to his total Jeopardy! winnings. Mattea Roach and Matt Amodio came second and third, respectively. Holzhauer, Roach, and Amodio will return for the second season of Jeopardy! Masters, where they will be joined by producer’s pick Amy Schneider, 2024 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions winner Yogesh Raut, and Jeopardy! Invitational Tournament winner Victoria Groce.

james holzhauer on jeopardy
Credit: ABC

Recently, Jeopardy! Productions confirmed that Jeopardy! Masters Season 2 will commence on May 1, 2024, on ABC and streamed on Hulu. The show will eventually air on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, ending on May 22, 2024. The rollout of the Jeopardy! Masters promo, as well as the recent announcement of the production team’s wildcard pick, has sparked significant backlash online.

Jeopardy! fans are calling out the game show for a number of reasons. After posting the announcement of Masters‘ return to Instagram, the comments section was flooded with negative responses.

The stage is set

The new season of #JeopardyMasters premieres Wednesday, May 1 on ABC and Stream on Hulu! #Jeopardy!

 

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Related: ‘Jeopardy!’ Review-Bombed by Viewers as New Host Makes Debut

One comment read, “Why invite James? We all know he is going to win anyway – he’s a step above the rest. It makes it less competitive. Just my opinion,” while another fan wrote, “AGAIN WITH MORE TOURNAMENTS?!?!?!? It’s become annoying, boring, and predictable.”

While the comments section was littered was positive responses to the return of certain players, as well as the potential battle of Chasers (James Holzhauer and Victoria Goce appear in The Chase game show), criticism for the new season was louder. Another person wrote, “No more shows with the same people. Alex [Trebek] is turning over in his grave.”

Alex Trebek (left) with Ken Jennings (right) holding 'Jeopardy!' trophy
Credit: ABC

“Too many tournaments result in seeing the same players over and over again. Would like to more new players,” one fan wrote. This was a sentiment many echoed following the announcement. Despite the syndicated version being so popular, the show does utilize a tournament concept frequently, with a Second Chance Tournament and a Tournament of Champions seeing the show through the WGA strikes last year with recycled material. Something executive producer Michael Davies was criticized for.

Jeopardy! is no stranger to backlash. During those same strikes, which caused Mayim Bialik to step down from hosting duties, Ken Jennings angered viewers after continuing to tape episodes during the picketing. He lambasted the naysayers by pointing out that Alex Trebek himself did the same thing amid the 2007-2008 writers strikes.

Ken Jennings on Jeopardy
Credit: NBC

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

From changing the rules mid-show to seemingly confusing contestants with cryptic comments, the hosts of Jeopardy! are not immune to negativity. With Jeopardy! Masters already proving divisive, will Ken Jennings be able to hold up the franchise?

Jeopardy! Masters returns on May 1, 2024, at 8 p.m. on ABC. Sony Pictures Television continues to produce the game show.

What are your thoughts on the new season of Jeopardy! Masters? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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