Season 39’s Champions to All Return In Post-Season This Fall

Yogesh Raut, among others, will return to the Alex Trebek Stage.

As was announced today on the Inside Jeopardy! podcast in conjunction with JeoparDAY! by Executive Producer Michael Davies, a “Champions’ Wildcard” Tournament will be instituted as part of this fall’s postseason play, in between Second Chance (whose return was confirmed today) and the Tournament of Champions. Every single player who wins a game in Season 39 will be invited to the event (if they haven’t qualified for the Tournament of Champions).

While full details of the event have yet to be announced, it is anticipated that the full postseason schedule is intended to take 10 weeks.

This means that viewers will potentially have the opportunity to watch giant-killers Andy Tirrell and Lloyd Sy again, as popular 1-day champions such as Erin Portman (who very nearly prevented Troy Meyer from winning his first game.)

Editorially: While it is great to be able to see a lot of these players again, I can certainly sympathize with those fans who enjoy being able to watch 190–200 regular-play games per season. (Interestingly, one of the reasons why the amount of time contestants spend in the contestant pool went from 12 to 18 months was the existence of the Ultimate Tournament of Champions in 2005, which knocked out a large number of regular-play slots that winter and spring.) Being that the Art Fleming version of the show never ran reruns, maybe it’s time for the show to move to 52 weeks a year of production if it wants to have a 10-week postseason every year? That way, both the fans who prefer regular play and the fans who prefer seeing favorites return both get what they want.

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16 Comments on "Season 39’s Champions to All Return In Post-Season This Fall"

  1. Marty Cunningham | March 30, 2023 at 5:48 pm |

    Just wondering, since there will be no show broadcast on this Saturday (or any Saturday for that matter), if this could be an early ruse connected with that date. Yes, it seems an awful big leap to extend the season, and play, by that much. And, personally, it does feel like some of the rules, or thresholds, have relaxed a lot in the last five years.

    Time will tell with this one!

  2. It seems like another “second chance” event just expanded to include every one-day winner not just the producer’s favorites. At least it is fairer and will eventually replace the Second Chance tourney for the additional spot in the TOC.

    • Kind of makes the term “tournament of Champions” mean a lot less now as it’s open to almost anyone.

  3. Trevor Tuominen | March 30, 2023 at 10:30 pm |

    So how realistic would a 52-week season be, out of curiosity?

    • First the second chance tournament now this. I’m all for 2 week tournaments but we don’t need all this nonsense for a tournament of champions. I mean sure we can argue this years was a special case with the super champs but I can’t think of one good reason to spend all this time getting to the tournament of champions. If you want to do the tournament this way then build up to it and spread this all out and end the season with the TOC. This is overkill… sorry for ranting but yeah hard pass on this decision.

      • Trevor Tuominen | March 31, 2023 at 7:53 am |

        This further cements to me that Michael Davies was not the best solution to the Mike Richards debacle. If Sony had common sense they would’ve hired a veteran like Jimmy, Sarah, Lisa or Rocky.

        And not to play devil’s advocate (especially given what he did to lose both his job and his reputation), but I doubt Richards would’ve done this if he were still EP.

        • Trevor Tuominen | March 31, 2023 at 7:54 am |

          And yes, my opinion on Davies changed after the way he responded to the criticism regarding that Final during the ToC.

  4. I love this idea! I think it gives players who might have caught an unlucky break a chance to come back. The variance of jeopardy sometimes can affect players who were of TOC caliber and I like the idea of letting all champs come back. Hope it becomes a recurring thing.

  5. Seems like a ratings-grab to me. I just want to show up in front of my TV at 7:30 and get the tried-and-true expected. If I have to pay too much attention to tournament this and tournament that, I forget who’s on first and lose interest. But I’m not the demographic that the advertisers are going after.

    • Same with you in thinking it is just a ratings grab. Same with you on assuming I am not the demographic that the advertisers are going after, though the fact that I cannot “get” the daily Jeopardy! and must rely on this website makes that moot and I don’t have any trouble with “forget who’s on first and lose interest” since Andy does that for us.

      Presumably SCT will not include anyone who made it to being even a one-day champion since they will all be in the “Champions’ Wildcard” Tournament. I think besides ratings a reason for the new tournament is because some champions (especially one-day ones) had some factor(s) that would have made the audience want them in the SCT, but since they DID become a champion, that kind of ruled them out. So this “kills two birds”.

      Another possible reason for creating more tournaments is that maybe after a year (maybe two) when they’d seem less of a competition with the stations airing first-run syndicated Jeopardy! episodes, rights to the older tournament episodes could be sold to Netflix (as they have seemed more interested in tournaments than long seasons).

  6. This seems to fill in the gap between the current 2nd Chance Tourney (no wins) and the current TOC (usually at least 4). I’d favor a move to 52 weeks to keep the contestant pool moving, and they have two hosts now. All of these extra tournaments must be tough on the crew though.

  7. I count that we’ve had 34 different regular play champions so far this season.I guess they might also include anyone who won a game in any of the tournaments? This would’ve been another reason to change the formats to eliminate wildcards so the players all go for the win. Either way, I feel like the player pool isn’t going to be large enough to fill 50 games without it being repetitive and a bit of a slog. I hope I’m wrong.

    On the other hand, if you’re going to give players who didn’t win at all a second chance, it’s hard to argue that there weren’t players who won a game or two before encountering a super champion who equally merited a second chance.

  8. I am… dumbfounded? I’m not sure what I am feeling since I am at a loss for words.

    Do Davies and crew think that this will bolster ratings? Or attract new viewers? I, for one, am a little tired of seeing the same contestants over and over. And while I truly enjoyed the Second Chance tournament, I have no interest whatsoever in the “Masters” competition, for example.

    (Totally unrelated, I think James Holzhauer has the comedic delivery of a wet napkin. Enough!) (Sorry if that offends, Andy.)

  9. Ratings ploy to bring back Yogesh.

  10. Marty Cunningham | April 3, 2023 at 3:46 pm |

    So it was not an April Fool’s joke. The math on bringing every single winner back for another round seems prohibitive, whether you expand the season or not.

    At a current run of 230 shows, the multi-game winners so far this season have covered about 75 games. Not sure how many more 2- and 3-day winners you can add to that to bring the remaining balance down, but there could probably be about 100 single game winners for a regular 230-game season 39, which is about 33 more first-round games, or about 7 weeks of the first round, then 11 more for the next round.

    230 games already account for 46 weeks of programming, which only leaves 6 weeks to fill in between the end of one season and the start of the next, now with more first-run tournaments, instead of reruns of earlier tournaments. Or do you cut the regular firs-run games shorter, which then restricts the pool of first-time contestants to draw from (10 new contestants get invited for each week, with 2 LA ‘locals’ included in case someone cannot make it from out of town, cutting even one week’s worth of taping eliminates 20 more people from getting their chance to be on), which could affect overall interest if fewer people are selected each year, just to give every winner a second-chance after their first run. This does not seem like it can give more people a shot to be on the show, more like the opposite. And, if this moved to prime time, instead of taking up the syndication slots, can they generate enough interest for roughly 50 more shows to cull out the main tournament contestants?

    And, on a side note, given some of the comments i have read from Yogesh, it would be interesting to see if he would accept an invitation to return, given how he felt he “had better things” to move on to, now that he had gone three-and-out.

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