Editorial: Jeopardy! is an Individual Game, Mike Richards

This morning, Jeopardy! announced tryouts for the Jeopardy! National College Championship. The announcement says: “The best players from each of 15 schools will be teamed up to compete in shows that will air in early 2021.”

Excuse me. Teams?

Anyone who even bothered to peruse Facebook and Twitter during the 2019 All-Star Games could have told you that the viewer feedback towards the team format was generally very negative. Your viewers made this point loud and clear: This isn’t Wheel of Fortune. Jeopardy! is an individual game, not a team game.


Moreover: Jeopardy! and its College Championship weren’t broken. It was one of the most popular tournaments going. I don’t understand why Mike Richards sees the need to make a move to change it up like this. Your individual players were some of the most brilliant young minds in America. There’s no need to team them up. This also opens up a massive question: What does this mean for a Tournament of Champions? Which, if any, of the winners would get a Tournament of Champions invitation?

In my opinion: This is a very bad move by Jeopardy. Viewers tolerated the team format for a two week special in 2019. I really don’t think they’ll be as forgiving in 2021.

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10 Comments on "Editorial: Jeopardy! is an Individual Game, Mike Richards"

  1. Also, now you can buzz in before Alex finishes reading for extra points, and you’re chastised for answering in the form of a question.

  2. danny mcmullen sr | October 7, 2020 at 5:13 pm |

    plz keep it the way it was ,it was great rootin for the 3 standing there.

  3. Fred Vaughn | October 8, 2020 at 1:18 pm |

    This sounds like it’s gonna play kind of clumsy on TV.

  4. Doug Bowden | October 9, 2020 at 10:08 pm |

    Great love for the website and all those who run it and participate in it. That said, as celeb champ Aaron Rodgers once said, ‘R-E-L-A-X’. There’s no rivalry like a college rivalry, and this as potential to be quite interesting in that regard, so I would suggest that we see it in action first before we label it a bad idea. Big respect to Andy and your opinions, also thanks for the posting as a J! fan since the Fleming / Pardo years.

    • Doug:

      I appreciate that you’re taking a wait-and-see approach.

      However: we saw team play in action in 2019. The staff hated it, it put the best players ever off their games because there was no taping flow, and the fans only tolerated it because we saw our favourites coming back for two weeks.

      You can have 1v1 rivalries just as easy as 2v2 rivalries—the show’s been doing that for 30 years.

  5. Honestly, as much as I disliked the format in 2019, I’m honestly kind of interested to see how the group format would work for the College Championship. Not to say I fully support it (as it was kinda confusing), but it would give more people a chance to compete and I would like to see something different (Season 37 is off to a slow start).

  6. Christopher DeCarlo | October 17, 2020 at 11:28 pm |

    Hopefully once this health crisis is out of the way, the show can get back to its usual business and resume the regular format. I look foward to Mike putting his individual touch to this and Wheel; the latter really needs refreshing.

  7. Marty Cunningham | October 27, 2020 at 2:30 pm |

    Did they mean actual teams, or perhaps a bit more detailed selection process for who plays each day? Non-college players are chosen at random before each show is taped, and there is even a random drawing as to which of those two gets which podium. Maybe they meant teams as far as not having players from the same conference all playing on one day. It does sound like there will be 15 different colleges represented, but there may be an effort to avoid rivalries by having, say, Michigan and Ohio State competing on the same quarter-final game, or having three players from ACC or Big10 or PAC12 schools all competing on the same day. Just a thought. The info on the website doesn’t offer much clarification.

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