‘Jeopardy!’ to reuse Questions and Contestants Amid Writers Strike
Jeopardy!‘s showrunner, Michael Davies, shared in a recent episode of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast that the show will continue with season 40, despite the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike. The show will employ a mix of strategies to navigate the strike’s challenges. The questions for the new season will be a blend of pre-existing, unused material from before the strike and content from previous seasons that is being repurposed. “Material that is being redeployed from multiple, multiple” seasons, Davies said.
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In line with this, season 40 will not introduce new contestants. Instead, the season will feature contestants who had previously participated in seasons 37 and 38, providing them with a second chance to compete. “I believe, principally, that it would not be fair to have new contestants making their first appearance on the Alex Trebek Stage with non-original material,” Davies said. “We’re going to open the season with a second chance tournament for players from Season 37 who lost their initial game. Winners from that will advance to a Season 37 and Season 38 Champions Wildcard.”
“I understand that the best episodes that are possible are episodes that feature our writers writing original material and the very best contestants … playing that original material,” Davies said.”
Increased costs and difficulties faced by contestants
Furthermore, in response to increased costs and difficulties faced by contestants due to post-Covid travel circumstances, the show will increase the prize amounts for second and third-place winners. Both second and third-place winners will receive an additional $1,000 each, bringing their winnings to $3,000 and $2,000.
The ongoing Writers Guild of America strike, initiated in May, has seen more than 10,000 unionized film and television writers advocating for their demands. The strike was spurred by failed negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The writers want a set number of writers for shows and a guarantee of at least ten straight weeks of work for a season. The writers’ union has also expressed concerns about the use of artificial intelligence.
Their proposal includes regulations against AI-generated writing and using AI to create source material for writers. However, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers rejected these propositions, instead offering to engage in annual discussions about technological advancements.