"Jeopardy!" is forging ahead on Season 40 despite the ongoing Hollywood writers' strike — albeit with some significant tweaks.
The upcoming season will use both recycled material and past contestants, showrunner Michael Davies revealed on a Monday episode of the podcast "Inside Jeopardy." He also announced bigger consolation prizes for second and third-place contestants.
“I believe, principally, that it would not be fair to have new contestants making their first appearance on the Alex Trebek Stage doing it 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, and winners from that will advance to a Season 37 and Season 38 Champions Wildcard.”
While the season will have some new material that was written before the strike, it will also feature "re-deployed" material from previous seasons. Davies added that the second season of the spin-off "Celebrity Jeopardy!" was fully written before the strike and will use all original material.
Davies also said the show was increasing second and third-place prize amounts by $1,000 each, bringing them to $3,000 and $2,000. He alluded to pressure from fans of the show and the rising costs of travel.
"This is something that we’ve been working on ever since I really took the reins of the show, something that obviously is discussed widely within our social communities and within the community of our contestants,” Davies said. “We understand that post-COVID, travel costs have increased. We understand how complicated funding a trip to ‘Jeopardy!’ is for many contestants within our community, and we think this is way about time that we did this.”