PHILADELPHIA CREAM — The executive producer of “Jeopardy!” is considering a major format change for the long-running game show.
Mike Davies wants to offer cash bonuses to candidates who correctly answer an entire column of clues under a single subject.
The contestant should run through an entire category without jumping around the board.
Davies first brought up the idea during “Inside Jeopardy!” podcast last week.
“One thing I noticed last season is that there’s a real moment in the studio when a competitor leads a category. We’ve seen that a lot more with our super champions this past season. I know that Amy (Schneider) ran categories. Ryan Long was especially good in racing categories,” Davies said. “When a contestant leads a category, there’s a pause of applause in the studio, and yet he there is no sound effect. There is no money changing hands. Nothing happens.
“And I don’t know if I want to affect the score in the game, but I think it might be appropriate to try at some point – maybe in a high school tournament, which is what we’re talking about doing. , maybe in college – maybe an extra cash bonus for running a category.”
Davies brought up the idea again during this week’s podcast with show producer Sarah Foss and former champ Buzzy Cohen.
“I’ve been thinking about trying, maybe during one of our other tournament weeks this season, to experiment with the idea of giving a cash bonus to competitors who lead a category,” Davies said.
The trio opened up about how contestant Luigi de Guzman crossed over to “The Law” category on Double Jeopardy on a recent show (unsurprisingly, he’s a lawyer).
“It’s a studio moment; it’s a good thing,” Davies said.
Cohen referred to Twitter’s response to Davies’ comments last week – “Twitter has exploded with ups and downs.”
Cohen said he thought people liked the idea of a bonus, but wanted to confirm if it would affect a contestant’s total score.
Davies assured fans it would be a “separate bonus” and wouldn’t change who wins.
“Coming home with a little extra prize of ‘Jeopardy!’ with or without a win,” added Foss.
Cohen, still on the fence, remarked to Davies, “It’s going to affect game strategy, and I don’t know if that’s something you’re interested in.”
Davies replied, “It could also inspire people who are trailing a really big player to try and get into a category and get something out of the game beyond their second or third prize.”
The trio joked, maybe the contestant wouldn’t get money but a real prize — like when “Jeopardy!” used to hand out items like canned tomato soup, or maybe they’d get a signed photo from host Ken Jennings.
After hearing those suggestions, Davies said they would stick with the money.
For now, however, the rule change is just under consideration.
“Danger!” airs weeknights on this ABC station.
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